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Haditha Watch: The fate of Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 16, 2008 09:27 PM

On June 5, you’ll recall, Marine Lt. Andrew Grayson was found not guilty on all counts in the Haditha case. Charges were dropped against five other Haditha Marines. Two await trial: Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and SSgt. Frank Wuterich. A hearing is scheduled tomorrow morning in Lt. Col. Chessani’s case.

The LATimes reported today that those charges may be dropped:

Attorneys for Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the final officer facing charges for the 2005 killing of 24 Iraqis in Haditha, believe they may be on the verge of having his case dismissed.

It’s risky business, of course, trying to guess what’s in a judge’s mind, in the civilian or military system.

But Chessani’s lawyers think the military judge, Col. Steven Folsom, may have signaled that he plans to grant the defense motion to dismiss the case because of undue command influence.

Initially, Folsom had scheduled two days in his Camp Pendleton courtroom this week to hear pretrial motions in the case.

But late last week, Folsom shifted, telling attorneys he will only deal with the undue influence motion in a session he predicted would take about an hour on Tuesday morning.

Defense attorneys assert that Gen. James Mattis, who brought the charges against Chessani and seven other Marines, was unduly influenced by anti-war politicians, the media or a Marine attorney who was involved in the initial investigation.

Defend Our Marines and Gary Gross have much more.

Will Rep. Murtha redeploy to the elevators again?

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(Graphic via Defend Our Marines)

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