Lying charges against 2 SEALs dropped

NORFOLK, Va., April 7 (UPI) -- Prosecutors have dropped lying charges against two Navy SEALs implicated in an Iraqi detainee abuse case.

Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas and Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe still face courts-martial in Norfolk, Va., for allegedly not protecting a reputed terrorist after his capture in Fallujah, Iraq. Huertas also faces a second charge of impeding an investigation.


Charges that the men lied to an investigator were formally withdrawn Tuesday in response to earlier testimony that they were not read their rights.

The case against them and a third Navy SEAL stem from the 2004 detention of Ahmed Hashim Abed. Keefe's trial is set for April 19, with the case against Huertas will follow. The third defendant, Petty Officer 2nd class Matthew McCabe, is to face a court-martial in May for allegedly hitting Abed in the stomach while Keefe and Huertas were in the room.

"I think the government has a very weak case," said Greg McCormack, Keefe's civilian attorney.

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