Trial delayed for Navy SEAL accused of war crimes

SAN DIEGO -- The trial for a Navy SEAL chief accused of war crimes has been pushed back yet again, this time over an email controversy.

As people across the country wait to see if President Donald Trump will pardon Edward Gallagher, his defense team and family say their focus is still on the trial that is now set for June 10.

“We cannot think that that’s coming. We are preparing for trial. We have from day one hoped, prayed and wished that Eddie would get his day in court because he’s going to be vindicated,” Gallagher's brother, Sean Gallagher, said.

Gallagher is accused of of several war crimes, including murdering a teenage ISIS fighter who was wounded and detained. Gallagher has said from the beginning that he is innocent and has been asking for a speedy trial.

The latest setback comes after attorney Timothy Parlatore said he found prosecutors were tracking the defense team's emails.

“NCIS seems to be the only agency out there that thinks this is OK to do to U.S. citizens without a warrant,” Parlatore said. 

FOX 5 reached out to NCIS and spokesman Jeff Houston sent the following via email:

"1.  Following continuing and ongoing violations of the judge's protective order, NCIS initiated a separate investigation into violations of the protective order.

2.  During the course of the investigation, NCIS used an audit capability that ensures the integrity of protected documents. It is not malware, not a virus, and does not reside on computer systems. There is no risk that systems are corrupted or compromised.

3.  The government is acting as part of lawful, authorized, and legitimate investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of information associated with the case.

4.  All NCIS investigations are conducted in accordance with applicable laws, properly coordinated, and executed with appropriate oversight."

“This couldn’t get any more preposterous. The family, we’ve been through so much and then we look at this and we’re like how deep does the rabbit hole go? How much more evidence can we see of misconduct?” Sean Gallagher said. 

Gallagher's brother said the family is tired and disappointed that the trial has been pushed back once again, but they won't give up their fight to free Eddie.

“Eddie will be able to tell his story. You and other people will be able to eventually look at the evidence. I want nothing more than him to smash this in court, but if he can be home with his family quicker we’ll take it,” Sean Gallagher said. 

Another hearing is set for Wednesday. Navy officials said more about those controversial emails will be discussed.

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