SO2 Jonathan Keefe, USN, and SO1 Julio Huertas, USN, will be tried in Iraq so they can face their accuser.
Note that Keefe and Huertas are not accused of assault, but of allegedly attempting to cover up the alleged assault by SO2 Matthew McCabe upon Ahmed Hashim Abed (the terrorist behind the March 2004 ambush that killed four Blackwater employees and saw their bodies dragged throught the streets of Fallujah, hung from a bridge, and burned).
SEALs court martial: Navy judge orders trials moved to Iraq
By Hugh Lessig
NORFOLK — Two of the three Navy SEALs accused of mistreating a suspected terrorist will have the chance to confront their accuser in open court — in Iraq.
The ruling is a victory for defense attorneys who wanted to question Abed face to face. Prosecutors sought to go forward with a videotaped deposition instead.
“If he is available for deposition, he is available for trial,” said Cmdr. Tierney Carlos during a procedural hearing at Naval Station Norfolk.
Suprisingly, the Judge in the Court Martial of Petty Officer McCabe (Captain [O-6] Moira Modzelewski, JAG, USN), has not afforded Petty Officer McCabe the opportunity to face his accuser (as is his right). The Trial by Court Martial of Petty Officer McCabe is scheduled for May 3rd in Norfolk VA.
I’m of the opinion that the convening officer (MG Charles T. Cleveland SOCCENT/CC 7701 Tampa Point Boulevard McDill AFB, FL 33621) should be reduced in rank to E-1 and discharged at the convenience of the Government.