Good news from Chessani case

Lt. Col Jeffrey Chessani has been on trial on trumped-up charges in the so-called Haditha incident, in which brave fighting men were put in jeopardy of military prison and their careers ruined, to appease the global lynch mob left enraged at early and false media reports of execution of unarmed civilians.

The Thomas More Law Center reports that the defense has won an important ruling from the judge in the case, one that vindicates the view that this was a media-driven unjust prosecution.

Colonel Folsom [the military court judge] found that the defense met its burden of presenting "some evidence" of actual and apparent unlawful command influence.  His decision was based upon the evidence that the Generals who controlled the disposition of the case were apparently or actually impermissibly influenced by Marine lawyer Colonel John Ewers, who was permitted to attend numerous, closed-session meetings in which LtCol Chessani's case was discussed. 

Colonel Ewers was one of the investigators of the Haditha incident from the beginning.  He is a witness that the prosecutors plan to call in its case against LtCol Chessani.  Consequently, he should not have been involved in any of the meetings in which the disposition of the Haditha cases was discussed with the Generals who convened the court martial.  During the hearing, the defense called Col Ewers as a witness.  Col Ewers admitted that he was present during at least 25 meetings in which LtCol Chessani's case and the other Haditha cases were discussed with the Generals and other legal advisors. [....]

The criminal charges against LtCol Chessani stem from a house-to-house, room-by-room battle four of his enlisted Marines engaged in on November 19, 2005, after being ambushed by insurgents in the town of Haditha, Iraq.  Even though LtCol Chessani promptly reported the events of that day to his superiors, including the deaths of 15 noncombatant civilians caught in the battle, nobody in LtCol Chessani's chain of command believed there was any wrongdoing on behalf of the Marines. 

Hat tip: Alan Fraser