Tuesday 24 April 2018

Royal Marine convicted of murdering injured Afghan prisoner named

Alexander Blackman
Alexander Blackman

Kim Sengupta

The Royal Marine convicted of murdering an injured Afghan prisoner can be named following a court ruling today.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman killed the Taliban fighter after he was captured with a point blank shot into his chest. The death was recorded by the head camera of a fellow Marine.

Sergeant Blackman, of J Company, 42 Commando was seen and heard in the footage saying “shuffle off your mortal coil you c**ts, this is nothing you would not have done to us.”

The highly-experienced Non Commissioned Officer became the first British serviceman to be convicted of murder in the current Afghan war.

The anonymity order still stands over the identity of four other Marines who were arrested in connection with the killing. Two of them were acquitted in the court martial at Bulford, Wilshire, in which Sergeant Blackman, referred to until now as “Marine A” was found guilty.

Giving his ruling on the case the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, scathingly criticised the Ministry of Defence over the Marines in question being told about the court decision before it was made public today. Counsel for the Ministry of Defence offered “profound apology” for the leak, saying that senior officers revealed the decision due to the initial misunderstanding.

Lord Chief Justice warned that in future any such transgression may result in a jail sentence.

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