Prosecutors Appeal Dismissal of Charges Against Marine

Friday, 20 Jun 2008 11:08 AM

By Phil Brennan

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Speaking with outrage after learning that prosecutors are seeking to overturn a Marine Judge’s dismissal of charges against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center which represents him, fumed that the legal process had turned from prosecution to persecution.

Said Thompson ‘This case has turned into the persecution of one of the Marine’s finest combat commanders. LtCol Chessani devoted his life to the Corps and his Nation. He served three tours of duty in Iraq, away from his wife and children in defense of us all. In their attempt ‘to get’ Chessani, prosecutors granted immunity to seventeen Marines, including one they had charged with murder. Still they failed. Sadly, in the process they have destroyed the career of an outstanding officer. Enough is enough.”

According to Thompson, military prosecutors filed an official notice Wednesday afternoon, that they are appealing the June 17th decision of Military Judge Colonel Steven Folsom, USMC, which dismissed all charges against Lt Colonel Jeffrey Chessani on the grounds of unlawful command influence. Prosecutors have 20 days in which to file their appeal brief to the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals (NMCCA), which is located in Washington, D.C.

The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, represents LtCol Chessani alongside his detailed military attorneys.

LtCol Chessani’s official 2006 Combat Fitness Report, which includes the time frame in which he is facing criminal charges, declared him “a superb leader, who knows his men, knows the enemy, knows his business,” and recommended him for promotion.

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