FNC Relays Acquittal of Navy SEAL Accused in Prisoner Abuse Case

On Thursday's Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC, correspondent Steve Centanni filed a report updating viewers on the case of one of the Navy SEALs facing charges in military court following accusations of prisoner abuse by the terrorist who planned the notorious murder of several American contractors in Fallujah in 2004.

Centanni relayed the acquittal of one of the accused troops: "Julio Huertas is one of the three Navy SEALs charged in connection with the arrest of a terror suspect last September in Iraq, and he was the first to stand trial. Today, just outside Baghdad, Huertas was found not guilty by a jury of six men who deliberated for two hours."

The FNC correspondent later raised the possibility that the prisoner in question, Ahmed Hashim Abed, may have caused injury to himself to support false accusations, as a soundbite of a defense attorney for one of the accused Navy SEALs was shown:

NEAL PUCKETT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Someone who has custody of some kind of training manual for al-Qaeda says that post-Abu Ghraib, whenever anyone goes into custody, the terrorists are trained to injure themselves so that they can claim they were abused by their American captors.

Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Thursday, April 22, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:

BRET BAIER: In world news tonight, an American military jury in Iraq has cleared a U.S. Navy SEAL of failing to prevent an assault on a terror suspect. National correspondent Steve Centanni has the story. Good evening, Steve.

STEVE CENTANNI: Good evening, Bret. Julio Huertas is one of the three Navy SEALs charged in connection with the arrest of a terror suspect last September in Iraq, and he was the first to stand trial. Today, just outside Baghdad, Huertas was found not guilty by a jury of six men who deliberated for two hours. He is seen in the lower righthand corner of a sketch made during an earlier court appearance. Huertas was charged with failing to protect a prisoner and trying to influence testimony in the case. He says he's now looking forward to continuing his service. He told Fox News, "It's a big weight off my shoulders compared to all the physical activity we go through" -- here in Iraq, he means. "This has been mentally more challenging." Only one of the Navy SEALs, Matthew McCabe, is actually accused of assault. He goes on trial next month. McCabe's attorney says the prisoner probably injured himself.

NEAL PUCKETT, DEFENSE ATTORNEY OF NAVY SEAL: Someone who has custody of some kind of training manual for al-Qaeda says that post-Abu Ghraib, whenever anyone goes into custody, the terrorists are trained to injure themselves so that they can claim they were abused by their American captors.

CENTANNI: Now the prisoner, Ahmed Hashim Abed, was arrested last September and accused of masterminding the 2004 attack in Fallujah that left four American contractors dead. Their bodies were burned, dragged through the streets and hung from a bridge. Abed testified yesterday, and after the verdict jurors told one of the defense attorneys they didn't believe Abed's story of being beaten and found too many inconsistencies in the case. The trial of Navy SEAL Jonathan Keefe begins tomorrow in Baghdad. He's charged only with dereliction of duty. Bret?

BAIER: We'll follow it all. Steve, thanks.