Campaign for review of murder sentence of British marine

London, Sep 11 (IANS) A campaign has been launched to review the case of a Royal British Marine jailed for life for killing a Taliban insurgent, the media reported on Friday.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman was convicted in 2013 of killing a dying insurgent in Afghanistan, BBC reported.

The killing, on September 15, 2011, took place after a patrol base in Helmand province came under fire from two insurgents. One of the attackers was seriously injured by gunfire from an Apache helicopter sent to provide air support and the marines found him in a field.

Footage from another marine’s helmet-mounted camera showed Blackman shooting the Afghan prisoner in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol.

The court martial board in Bulford, Wiltshire, found Blackman guilty of murdering the insurgent. Two other marines were acquitted.

It was the first time a member of the British armed forces had faced a murder charge in relation to the conflict in Afghanistan, which began in 2001.

Blackman was also “dismissed with disgrace” from the Royal Marines. He had served with distinction for 15 years, including tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland.

Blackman has denied the murder, claiming he believed the victim was already dead and that he was taking his anger out on the corpse.

A new legal team is seeking a review, arguing that he should have been convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Author and campaign incharge Frederick Forsyth said that the evidence that Blackman was “nearly feral with exhaustion” was not produced in court.

“There is a very, very clear case that you can get a fighting man so tired, so consumed by battle fatigue and combat stress that he is hardly even thinking straight and there is provision in British law for that,” he said.

Blackman’s wife Claire said, “The fact that he is now serving a life sentence for killing a dying Taliban insurgent is just wrong, this was war.”

“Had the roles been reversed that man would have tortured my husband before killing him. We will not give up the fight to bring Al home,” she added.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here