May 31 (UPI) -- A Navy SEAL accused of war crimes was released from pretrial custody after a military judge cited prosecutors interfered with the case, according to officials.
Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, 39, was being held at Naval Medical Center San Diego ahead of his court-martial for allegedly committing war crimes, including the killing of a wounded 15-year-old Islamic State militant.
Military Judge Capt. Aaron Rugh released Gallagher following the five-hour hearing Thursday due to prosecutors interfering with the case by placing trackers on emails, Navy Region Southwest spokesman Brian O'Rouke said.
"That means he is free from restriction," O'Rouke said following the hearing, adding that his release is because of "all the interference with the email tracking," The Orange County Register reported.
His release follows earlier hearings where attorney Tim Parloatore, Gallagher's defense, argued for charges against his client to be dropped due to the prosecutor having placed trackers on emails sent to members of the defense and to an editor of Navy Times.
"It is illegal for the government to use [email] in the way they did without a warrant," Parlatore told Military Times. "What this constitutes is a warrantless surveillance of private citizens, including media, by the military -- We should be terrified."
The defense has argued the case should be dismissed due to the alleged misconduct by the prosecution team and that Gallagher's team intends to again request for the charges to be dismissed Friday, The Orange Country Register reported.
Gallagher was arrested Sept. 11 at Camp Pendleton's Intrepid Spirit Center and faces four counts of violating military law, including the most serious for the alleged killing of a 15-year-old IS militant.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
In March following months of campaigning from the SEAL's family, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would have Gallagher moved from a military brig to be held to a less restrictive location.
"In honor of his past service to our country, Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court," Trump tweeted March 30. "Process should move quickly."