Navy chief sacked over handling of SEAL case

Updated: Nov 26, 2019, 13:44 IST | Agencies | Washington

"Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that (Navy) Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well," he said

Richard Spencer. Pic/AFP
Richard Spencer. Pic/AFP

Washington: In a rare move, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has fired Navy chief Richard Spencer over his handling of a Navy SEAL's case that has pitted military leaders against President Donald Trump.

The case is related to Edward Gallagher, who was convicted for posing with a corpse in Iraq in 2017. For that Gallagher was demoted, but President Trump later reinstated his rank.

Tump intervened in his case and issued a pardon on November 15. Trump has drawn criticism from parts of the military after pardoning army officers convicted of war crimes.

Esper on Sunday said he lost cnfidence in Spencer after finding out the navy chief had tried to end the dispute behind his back. "I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD (Department of Defence) official," Esper said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that (Navy) Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well," he said.

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