RFE/RL, August 7, 2019
U.S. Navy SEALs Get Afghanistan Detainee Abuse Charges Dropped
The dropped charges come amid turmoil in the Navy after a failed prosecution last month of another case involving SEALs in Iraq on suspicion of committing war crimes
The human rights scandal now known as "Abu Ghraib" in Iraq.
The U.S. Navy dismissed charges on August 6 against four SEALs accused of abusing detainees in Afghanistan seven years ago, AP reported.
The four SEALs -- Lieutenant Jason Webb, Chief Petty Officers David Swarts and Xavier Silva, and Petty Officer 1st Class Daniel D’Ambrosio -- were accused of abusing bound prisoners alongside Afghan local police.
Evidence in the seven-year case had “degraded” and convictions were no longer likely, military prosecutors told Navy Region Southwest commander Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
Initially, Swarts, Silva, and D’Ambrosio received nonjudicial, administrative punishment.
But after a 2015 New York Times story alleged a cover-up, the Navy reexamined the case and pressed charges in January 2017.
The dropped charges come amid turmoil in the Navy after a failed prosecution last month of another case involving SEALs in Iraq on suspicion of committing war crimes.
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