Thursday, October 31, 2013

Royal Marine Afghan 'execution' video banned by Judge at Court Martial

From The Independent:

Footage showing the alleged execution of an injured Afghan insurgent by a British serviceman will not be released for fear it could spark revenge attacks on troops, a judge has ruled. 

The video, which allegedly shows a Royal Marine shooting the man in the chest at close range, had been recorded by a camera mounted on the helmet of another marine and had been shown to a court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire last week. The Ministry of Defence and the Home Office opposed the release of the footage. 

In a written ruling, Judge Advocate General Judge Jeff Blackett rejected an application from media outlets that the footage be shown. He said: “My view is the principle of open justice... has been satisfied by the DVD being played in open court where it has been observed by journalists and reported upon. Releasing it for unrestricted public consumption would expose British service personnel to increased risk of harm unnecessarily.

“[The Home Office] says that the risk is real and immediate and I accept that assessment”. Judge Blackett granted the media leave to appeal. The court martial was adjourned.

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