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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) - A military judge says there is evidence of improper influence in the prosecution of an Army general on sexual assault charges.

Military judge Col. James Pohl issued a finding Monday that there is the appearance of such influence after reviewing emails between a top Pentagon lawyer and the prosecutors.

He then began discussing with lawyers whether to dismiss charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair or proceed with the case.

Defense lawyers presented the new evidence Monday.

At issue are emails from December between the prosecution team at Fort Bragg and a top Pentagon lawyer regarding a potential plea deal that was ultimately rejected. It is unlawful in the military justice system for senior commanders outside the chain of command to interfere in prosecutorial decisions.

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