Navy prosecutors are reportedly considering perjury charges for a witness who testified during a SEAL’s trial that he himself had committed the killing that the defendant had been charged with ahead of his trial.
The Navy is exploring a court martial for Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, who testified last week in the trial of Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher that he, not Gallagher, had killed a teenage ISIS fighter of whose murder Gallagher stood accused, CNN reported.
A Navy spokesperson confirmed to The Hill that the military is reviewing Scott’s testimony “in light of his previous statements.” The spokesperson added that “no decisions have been made.”
“SO1 Scott’s immediate Commander granted him administrative immunity in exchange for a promise of truthful testimony,” a Force Public Affairs Officer for Naval Special Warfare Command told The Hill.
In an email to Scott’s lawyer obtained by CNN, the Navy stated “Scott reportedly testified directly contrary to previous official statements — thus exposing him to prosecution.”
Scott was granted testimonial immunity and thus cannot be charged with the murder to which he confessed.
“I think if the Navy tried charging Corey Scott with perjury, that would probably be the only thing more stupid that a prosecutor could do than to try and bring a murder case based on this evidence,” Gallagher’s attorney Tim Parlatore told reporters, according to CNN.
“Corey Scott came in here and he testified,” Parlatore added. “If they thought he was committing perjury, they would’ve read him his rights at that time.”
Gallagher has also been charged with posing with the prisoner’s corpse, firing at noncombatants and attempting to intimidate other SEALs out of reporting him. He has pleaded not guilty on all charges.
Updated: June 27 at 3:21 p.m.