British marine guilty of murdering Afghan fighter

The serviceman found guilty of shooting and killing an unnamed Taliban fighter, he is facing a mandatory life term over the killing

British marine guilty of murdering Afghan fighter

World Bulletin / News Desk

A British royal marine was found guilty by a military court on Friday of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent, the first time a UK soldier has been convicted of such a crime relating to the war in Afghanistan.

Two other marines were acquitted of killing the unknown man in Helmand Province in 2011.

The three were known in court as marines A, B and C as their identities have been withheld under an anonymity order.

The jury at Bulford Court Martial Centre in Wiltshire heard that the victim, already severely injured by an Apache helicopter after an attack on a local patrol base, was shot at close range with a 9mm pistol by Marine A in a field.

Audio clips of a video showing the killing inadvertently filmed by Marine B on his helmet camera were released on Thursday, but the judge blocked the release of the full video evidence to avoid it being used as propaganda.

In the clips, Marine A can be heard shooting the man and then saying "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us."

He then added: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

Other evidence in the trial was a diary entry by Marine C, in which he described how he felt "mugged off" that he had not been the one to shoot the prisoner

Brigadier Bill Dunham, Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines said after the verdict that the murder of the Afghan soldier was "a truly shocking and appalling aberration".

In a statement released by the Ministry of Defense, he said: "It should not have happened and it should never happen again".

Marine A was an experienced sergeant at the time of the shooting and will now be sentenced at a later date, but faces a mandatory life sentence.

Marine B was new to the Helmand base where the other two were based. Marine C was the most junior of the men.

The trial began in August after the three marines were arrested in October 2012, following the discovery of video footage of the incident by civilian police on a serviceman's laptop.

Last Mod: 09 Kasım 2013, 11:56
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