Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

US military jury clears SEAL in Iraq abuse case

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 22, 2010

BAGHDAD — A U.S. military jury cleared a Navy SEAL Thursday of failing to prevent the beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding a 2004 attack that killed four American security contractors.

The contractors’ burned bodies were dragged through the streets and two were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates river in the former insurgent hotbed of Fallujah, in what became a major turning point in the Iraq war.

The trial of three SEALs, the Navy’s elite special forces unit, has outraged many Americans who see it as coddling terrorists.

Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, 28, of Blue Island, Illinois, was found not guilty by a six-man jury of charges of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member.

The jury spent two hours deliberating the verdict.

Huertas is the first of three SEALS to face a court-martial for charges related to the abuse incident. All three SEALs could have received only a disciplinary reprimand, but insisted on a military trial to clear their names and save their careers.  Full Story here

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