UK & World News

  • 5 December 2013, 22:47

Marine Who Murdered Afghan Fighter Is Named

A Royal Marine convicted of killing an Afghan insurgent has been named after three leading judges overturned an anonymity ruling.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman was found guilty of murder by a court martial board last month but had only previously been referred to as Marine A.

He was named after Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, who was sitting with Mr Justice Tugendhat and Mr Justice Holroyde at the High Court in London, said he should be identified.

Two servicemen acquitted over the death in Helmand Province more than two years ago and known only as Marines B and C should also be named, the judges ruled.

However, their identities will not be released immediately because of a possible move by their lawyers to take the issue to the Supreme Court.

An order made during the Marines' trial in Bulford, Wiltshire, prevented any of their names being made public.

However, at a hearing last week, Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett said their identities should be released, despite lawyers' claims that doing so would put their lives at "real and immediate" risk.

Sgt Blackman is awaiting sentencing for killing the Afghan fighter, who was shot in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.

The murder was filmed by a camera mounted on the helmet of one of his colleagues.

Marines B and C, who were allegedly "party to the killing" and "encouraged and assisted" Marine A in committing the murder, were cleared.

Two other soldiers, against whom charges were discontinued, will be the subject of a further hearing to determine whether their names can also be released.