An SAS sniper faces a retrial over illegally possessing a pistol and ammunition - despite a last-minute claim prosecutors acted improperly by consulting on the case.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale today pleaded not guilty to illegally possessing a Glock 9mm pistol and more than 300 rounds of ammunition. He was convicted and sentenced to military detention last year before having his sentence reduced and conviction quashed by Court of Appeal judges.
At a preparatory hearing to discuss the future of the case today, Judge Advocate Jeff Blackett said there was no abuse of process relating to content in emails apparently leaked by a Ministry of Defence source, which were referred to for the first time at the hearing at Bulford Military Court Centre in Wiltshire.
He said: "Provided I am satisfied that there has been no bad faith or dishonesty and that the exercise of a prosecutorial discretion has been conscientiously undertaken, I should direct that the matter proceeds to trial.
"I am so satisfied. There is no abuse of process and I dismiss the defendant's application to stay these proceedings."