APRIL 30, 2005 -- A key witness against a wilmington marine accused of murder in iraq has acknowledged that the defendant stripped him of a unit leadership role days before the shootings. Marine sergeant daniel coburn returned to the stand today at camp lejeune in the preliminary hearing of second lieutenant ilario pantano. Pantano admits to shooting two iraqi detainees last year but says it was self-defense. Earlier this week, coburn testified that pantano had been instructed to release the prisoners that he eventually shot in the back. The witness later left the stand after hearing he was suspected of violating orders against giving interviews about the case. He returned to the stand today with immunity at the request of defense attorneys seeking to finish cross-examination.