The U.S. President Donald Trump has issued pardons to U.S. military officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan, the White House confirmed.
According to a statement released White House “Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance, an Executive Grant of Clemency (Full Pardon) for Army Major Mathew Golsteyn.”
Lieutenant Lorance was jailed for 19 years after he ordered his men to open fire on three men in 2012 in which two people were killed. He had served more than six years of the 19-year sentenced he received.
Major Mathew Golsteyn was set to stand trial for an allegedly unlawful killing of a suspected Taliban bomb maker in Marjah district of Helmand province.
“As our forces cleared the Taliban from the city of Marjah, an Improvised Explosive Device detonated, killing two Marines. The terrorist bombmaker, as identified by an Afghan informant, who had killed our troops, was detained and questioned.”
“Golsteyn was compelled to release him, however, due in part to deficiencies within the fledgling Afghan detention system,” the White House said in its statement, adding that “Golsteyn has said he later shot the terrorist because he was certain that the terrorist’s bombmaking activities would continue to threaten American troops and their Afghan partners, including Afghan civilians who had helped identify him.”
Meanwhile, the White House said President Trump has signed an order directing the promotion of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward R. Gallagher to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of nearly all of the charges against him.