5 Dec 2013

Marine convicted of murder named as Alexander Blackman

The Royal Marine convicted of murdering an injured insurgent in Afghanistan is named as Sergeant Alexander Blackman, after a ruling by three leading judges at the High Court.

Three Royal Marines denied murdering an unknown Afghan on or about 15 September 2011, contrary to section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

However, a seven-strong court martial board, consisting of officers and non-commissioned officers, convicted one of the marines following a two-week trial.

Alexander Blackman, known only as Marine A during the trial, shot the man at close range with a 9mm pistol and quoted a phrase from Shakespeare as the man died in front of him. He will be sentenced tomorrow.

The shooting was recorded on a camera mounted on the helmet of Marine B. Marines B and C were alleged to have been “party to the killing”, but they were cleared.

Charges against a further two Marines, referred to as D and E, were previously discontinued.

An MoD spokesman said: “The MoD acknowledges the lifting of the anonymity order in respect of Marine A.

“We presented our security concerns in open court, and an independent legal process has now concluded; we respect the decision of the court.”

‘Experienced sergeant’

Blackman was an experienced sergeant, aged 39 at the time of the court martial and he had 15 years’ experience in the Royal Marines.

He joined in 1998 and completed three tours in Iraq, two in Afghanistan and one in Northern Ireland during his military career.

He was in charge of Command Post Omar in Helmand province during Operation Herrick 14 in 2011.

An expert in heavy weapons, including machine guns, he was credited with building relations with the local population, his role in Afghanistan also included taking part in meetings with community leaders and elders.