Shock testimony at trial of Navy SEAL accused of killing ISIS fighter as witness takes blame

A Navy SEAL stunned a San Diego courtroom Thursday with testimony he’s the one who ultimately killed the Islamic State fighter at the center of his fellow SEAL’s murder trial.

Corey Scott, a first class petty officer, dropped the bombshell as he testified under an immunity deal at the court-martial of fellow medic Edward Gallagher.

Scott said it was true he watched Gallagher stab the ISIS prisoner near his collarbone as they rendered aid to the fighter injured in an airstrike in Iraq in 2017.

But he said after the knife attack, he personally used his thumb to cover the breathing tube inserted into the captive fighter’s neck, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

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Trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher
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Trial of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher
FILE - In this Thursday, May 30, 2019, file photo, Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego with his wife, Andrea Gallagher, in San Diego. Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with allegedly killing an Islamic State prisoner in his care and attempted murder for the shootings of two Iraq civilians in 2017, is scheduled to go on trial Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Julie Watson, File)
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, right, walks with his wife, Andrea Gallagher as they arrive to military court on Naval Base San Diego, Tuesday, June 18, 2019, in San Diego. Jury selection continued Tuesday morning in the court-martial of the decorated Navy SEAL, who is accused of stabbing to death a wounded teenage Islamic State prisoner and wounding two civilians in Iraq in 2017. He has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder, charges that carry a potential life sentence. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)
Edward Gallagher, a US Navy Special Operations Chief facing murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner, leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors, graphic element on gray
Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, left, hugs his wife, Andrea Gallagher, after leaving a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in San Diego. The decorated Navy SEAL facing a murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner was freed Thursday from custody after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)
U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher's defense attorney Tim Parlatore speaks to the media after opening arguments in the soldier's court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves court with his wife Andrea, her name tattooed on his wrist, after the first day of jury selection at this court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. army member King Cohn arrives at court to support U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher during the first day of jury selection at the court-martial trial at Naval Base San Diego in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
The entrance to the courthouse at Naval Base San Diego is shown where jury selection begins in the court-martial trial of U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher in San Diego, California , U.S., June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake
Defence attorney Timothy Parlatore, representing US Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, speaks with reporters at a pre-trial hearing for Gallagher's court martial for alleged war crimes in Iraq, in San Diego, California, U.S., May 22, 2019. REUTERS/Earnie Grafton
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Scott said he asphyxiated the badly wounded fighter as an act of mercy — to spare him from being tortured by the Iraqi Emergency Response Division, another ISIS adversary.

“I knew he was going to die anyway, and I wanted to save him from waking up to whatever would happen to him,” Scott told the military court at Naval Base San Diego.

The prosecutor, Lt. Brian John, quickly accused Scott of lying, claiming he previously told investigators a different story and changed it only after a judge gave him immunity and ordered him to testify.

Scott reportedly shot back that he wasn’t untruthful as much as evasive. He claimed no one specifically asked him about his actions after the stabbing and that his immunity deal gave him the opportunity to explain his actions.

“So you can stand up there and you can lie about how you killed the ISIS prisoner so Chief Gallagher does not have to go to jail,” John said.

“You don’t want Chief Gallagher to go to jail, do you?” John asked

“He’s got a wife and family,” Scott said. “I don't think he should be spending his life in prison.”

The shock admission came on the fourth day of testimony in the closely watched case and could be a huge break for Gallagher, who has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder as well as the attempted murder of two Iraqi civilians and shooting indiscriminately at a crowd.

Gallagher’s lead defense lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, has said some witnesses have conspired to lie about his client.

Before Scott took the witness stand, two other platoon mates gave testimony damaging to Gallagher.

One said he saw Gallagher stab the fighter in the neck and saw Scott deliver aid by putting a bandage on the fighter’s neck, The Tribune reported.

Another comrade said he saw Gallagher shoot an elderly male Iraqi civilian from a sniper position and that he watched Gallagher shoot into a crowd of civilians.

President Donald Trump recently got involved in the case by having Gallagher transferred out of the brig weeks before his trial.

Meanwhile, one of Gallagher’s other defense lawyers is Marc Mukasey, who also happens to be one of Trump’s personal attorneys.

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