US President confirms considering pardons in US war crimes cases

Vastavam web: President Donald Trump confirmed Friday he is considering pardons for several military servicemen accused or convicted of war crimes, in what critics say would be an abuse of the powers afforded him under the US Constitution.

The New York Times reported, quoting administration officials, that Trump envisaged making the controversial pardons during the Memorial Day weekend, when Americans honour those who died while serving in the military.

Reportedly among those being considered is Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of shooting unarmed civilians and stabbing a teenage captive to death, who is due to stand trial starting next week.

Trump is also said to be eyeing a pardon for Matt Golsteyn, an ex-member of the elite US Army Green Berets, charged with premeditated murder in the shooting death of an alleged Taliban bomb-maker in 2010.

“We’re looking at a lot of different pardons for a lot of different people,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn Friday, when asking why he was considering pardoning war criminals.

“Some of these soldiers are people that have fought hard, long, you know. We teach them how to be great fighters and when they fight sometimes they get really treated very unfairly. So we’re going to take a look at it,” Trump added.

Trump confirmed he was considering two or three cases that were “a little bit controversial,” adding that he may let trials of these people proceed and then decide afterward. “I haven’t done anything yet. I haven’t made any decisions,” he said.