SAN DIEGO (CN) – The video deposition of a general with the Iraqi Emergency Response Division was shown in the court-martial of Edward Gallagher Thursday, complicating the convoluted testimony in the case when he said he never saw Gallagher kill an adolescent Islamic State solider he’s accused of stabbing.
In a deposition video taken June 3 and shown in Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh’s Naval Base San Diego courtroom Thursday, Iraqi Emergency Response Division Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri was insistent Gallagher did everything he could to save the life of a wounded IS solider brought to his compound as a prisoner.
“They did their best to survive him,” al-Jubouri said through heavily-accented English in the deposition video.
Al-Jubouri, who was wearing a red beret and green camouflage military uniform in the videotaped deposition, frequently gesticulated while he was talking. He used his iPhone during the interview to help him with translations.
He said he never saw Gallagher stab the injured IS solider after the SEAL chief rendered medical aid to the prisoner. If he had seen Gallagher stab the fighter, al-Jubouri said he would have stopped him.
“I would stop him if he did any mistake with this kid. I would be very upset,” al-Jubouri said.
Gallagher faces seven charges for war crimes allegedly committed when he was deployed with SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon to Mosul, Iraq in 2017. He has denied all charges.
The testimony by al-Jubouri, shown by Gallagher’s defense team during the second day of their case to call witnesses, stands in stark contrast to that offered by Gallagher’s SEAL teammates who said they saw their chief stab the IS solider with his custom-made knife.
But SEAL medic Corey Scott claimed in bombshell testimony last Thursday that he saw Gallagher stab the wounded fighter, but he, not Gallagher, killed the boy by plugging a breathing tube with his thumb, asphyxiating the teen.
Al-Jubouri directed the Iraqi Emergency Response Division soldiers in their fight to oust IS fighters from Mosul, working closely with Navy SEALS to gain control of the city. He said the operation to gain control took a long time because they had a plan in place to “avoid killing citizens.”
The general said the day the adolescent soldier was killed, his fighters were attempting to gain control of a small village by going from “house to house, room to room” to clear the area of IS soldiers.
Of about 50 IS soldiers, al-Jubouri said the injured adolescent fighter was the only survivor that day. He suffered two gunshots to the upper leg, al-Jubouri said, holding up two fingers and saying “two bullets.”
The general could not say exactly where the teen was wounded because “there was a lot of blood.”
The teen was brought by Iraqi Emergency Response Division fighters to al-Jubouri, who asked him his name, age and where he lived.
Al-Jubouri said the teen told him he was 17.
The general said he wanted to keep the teen alive so he could interrogate him for information about IS. His fighters drove the boy in a Humvee to the Navy SEAL compound, where al-Jubouri asked Gallagher personally to save the teen.
Al-Jubouri is not a medic and he, nor any members of his Iraqi Emergency Response Division, performed life-saving measures on the teen.
Gallagher and some other SEALs retrieved medical bags before administering aid to the boy, al-Jubouri said. He was standing to the left side of Gallagher as he performed medical procedures on the IS solider for between 10 and 20 minutes.
“I don’t go away until the bad guy died,” al-Jubouri said.
Al-Jubouri said the teen was not injured anywhere else on his body and did not have wounds to his neck, face or head. He did not remember a tube or bandage on the IS fighter’s neck when he was shown a photo of the dead fighter during his deposition.
When a NCIS agent investigating the case against Gallagher went to Mosul, al-Jubouri said he could not show the investigator where the IS fighter’s body was because “I don’t know where it is exactly.”
The case is expected to finish next week.