7 Nov 2013

Marines audio revealed: ‘I just broke the Geneva Convention’

The audio recording of the conversation between Royal Marines accused of executing a captured Taliban prisoner is released, as the court martial board retires to consider its verdict.

Warning: the above audio recording contains descriptions of shooting that may be distressing

The conversation between Royal Marines as they allegedly executed a captured Taliban prisoner, was recorded by a camera mounted on one of the Marine’s helmets.

The commandos, known only as Marines A, B and C, are accused of the “execution” of the man in Helmand Province more than two years ago.

The audio footage and still photos were released by the judge at their murder trial as he summed up the evidence. Judge Jeff Blackett ruled that the video was too inflammatory to be released, but that an audio recording could be published, along with some video stills, pictured below.

Marine B: Went South, mate
00:03:20 [GUNSHOT]
M: (What was that?) [Distant voice]
M: (Don't know) [Distant voice]
M: ...
M: ...
Marine A: There you are, shuffle off this mortal coil you ****
Marine A: It's nothing you wouldn't do to us
Marine B: I know
M: Exactly.
M: All right.
Marine A: Obviously, this doesn't go anywhere, fellas
Marine B: Yeah, roger, mate
Marine A: I've just broke the Geneva Convention

The marines have pleaded not guilty to murdering the unknown captured Afghan national on or about 15 September 2011 contrary to Section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

Marine A is alleged to have shot the Afghan national in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol before telling him: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil you ****. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.”

Read more: Marines murder trial - judge bans release of 'execution' DVD

He then allegedly turned to comrades and said: “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.”

The killing had been filmed by a camera mounted on the helmet of Marine B, prosecutors alleged during the two-week court martial at Bulford, Wiltshire.

Read more: Court martial shown DVD of marine 'murdering' Afghan prisoner

Marines B and C are accused of being “party to the killing” and “encouraged and assisted” Marine A to commit the murder.

David Perry QC, prosecuting, told the court martial: “It was not a killing in the heat and exercise of any armed conflict. The prosecution case is that it amounted to an execution, a field execution.

“An execution of a man who was entitled to be treated with dignity and respect and entitled to be treated as any British serviceman or servicewoman would be entitled to be treated in a similar situation.”

Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett told the seven-strong court martial board to “strive” to reach unanimous verdicts – but military law allowed for a simple majority.

See the full transcript below:

*Letters A to C refer to the accused. M is unknown.

Marine B: Rear man, take east
M: …
Marine B: Come out towards you
M: …
M: …
M : … f****** …
M: …
Marine A … get his arse over there
M: [coughs]
Marine B: F****** ****
M: F****** ******
M: [coughs]
M: Why couldn’t (you/he) just be F****** dead?
M: Good effort lads
M: Swap
Marine B: Yeah, I took
M: …
Marine D: You’re f****** browners, fella
Marine B: Don’t give a f*** about you, son
M: Does anyone recognise him?
M: Stop f****** whinging
M: … going … way
M: Yeah
B: F***** ****
Marine A: Right, get him closer in so PGSS can’t see what we’re doing to him
M: (Place/push) him in there, come on
Marine A: Get him right in.
M: Come on.
Marine A: Over by that corn
M: That’ll do.
Marine A: Right in that – that clear space
M: Get him right over here
M: …
M: (Take him out there and …)
M: That’ll do, that’ll do, that’ll do
M: Mm.
M: Out here [Radio]
Marine D: Do you want him back in?
Marine A: Yeah, I want – I want him in this area here so I can see what the f*** (we’re/I’m) doing
M: Er-
M: … just arrived in there
Marine A: Anybody want to do first aid on this idiot?
M: No.
Marine B: No.
M: …
Marine C: I’ll put one in his head, if you want
M: …
M: [Laughs]
M: [Laughs]
Marine C: Take your pick
M: [Laughs]
M: …
M: Yeah
M: …
Marine A: No, not in his head, ’cause that’ll be f****** obvious
M: Just move him round here
M: …
M: Move him round
Marine A: …
Marine B: Going to switch this f***** off
M: …
Marine A: I don’t know where that AH is mate
M: Yeah.
Marine A: Yeah he’s got a f***** chest wound, mate
M: F***** hell
M: …
Marine B: We’ll patch him with an FFD.
Marine A: Yeah, send, over [speaking on radio]
Marine B: That’ll do, won’t it.
M: …
M: …
Marine B: Keep your eyes on my weapon, mate.
M: Where’s that (Where’s that Ugly) now?
Marine A: He – he’s over there and he can f***** see us. Ah
M: Yeah check the- check the …
M: Yeah
M: Yeah
Marine C: I think Murph’s trying to get hold of us on the er
M: (Okay)
Marine A: Yeah, Murph, this is [name of Marine A], send, over. [Speaking on radio].
Marine B: Better send up a nine liner, I suppose {report that a medical evacuation is needed}
Marine A: Yeah, er, we’re just waiting for [name of comrade] to er get … He may well be dead. [Speaking on radio]
Marine C: He’ll be on – be behind them trees in a minute.
Marine B: For f***’s sake, I cannot believe I’m doing this
Marine C: Don’t – just – don’t – yeah, wait a minute, just pretend to do it until he’s behind them trees
M: … just strangle him.
A: Yeah [Laughs]
Marine B: Yeah, that might …
M: Yeah
Marine A: Yeah, he’s past. F*** it, he’s past
M: Yeah
Marine C: He’s dead
Marine A: Hello, one zero, one four, hotel. [Speaking on radio]
M: …
Marine B: F****** **** shooting at Taalander, you ****
M: (Just making…)
Marine A: (Hello) one zero, one four, hotel [Speaking on radio]
Marine C: …
Marine B: (Hang on a sec) say
M: …
Marine A: I hate to say it, administering first aid to this er- individual, he’s er- [Speaking on radio]
Marine B: Wait
Marine A: Passed on from this er world, over. [Speaking on radio]
Marine A: One zero, one four, hotel, I will er- [Speaking on radio]
M: Mm
Marine A: Okay, er- [Speaking on radio]
M: Mm, mm
Marine A: Do my best to er biometrically enrol him erm and then er gather a DNA samples er [Speaking on radio].
M: …
Marine A: To bag up the evidence, the weapon and the er grenade, over [Speaking on radio]
M: …
Marine B: There was a grenade there, as well, was there
Marine C: Yeah in his pocket
Marine B: F***** ****
M: Yeah, ****
00:02:08 Marine B: That’s probably re- ready to go on you boys
M: Mm 00:02:13 M: (Get your) shot f******…
M: Fucking…
M: F***** hell
Marine A: … [Speaking on radio]
Marine C: Yeah, maybe we should pump one in his heart
Marine A: …er b-both of my call signs all round [Speaking on radio]
Marine C: Can’t…
Marine B: Just hold that on him, [name of comrade], just a few secs
Marine A: … er er while we er, like I say, we’ll try to biometrically enrol this guy as best as we can and we’ll gather what er intelligence we can before moving back [Speaking on radio]
M: [Clears throat]
Marine B: Right we’ll roll him over again
Marine A: Er he’s dead. Don’t waste your f****** FFDs on the cheeser. Take it off him. Right, get the- get the HIIDE camera out, see if you can a picture of him, minus all the- the thing. [name of comrade], push up the corn there will, you?
Marine B: Can you just (grab/get) the HIIDE camera out (my back for me, mate). HIIDE camera’s in my (sack).
M: Yeah M: Top?
Marine B: Yeah, it’s in the main compartment, mate
Marine A: (Just) down there mate. Stay there (covering/cover) him, f******
M: …
Marine A: Er [name of comrade] [Speaking on radio]
M: Did you get him?
Marine B: Eh?
M: … you get him?
M: … [Speaking on radio]
Marine B: In the head? Yeah that’s fine
Marine A: … back pack, get er er a DNA kit for this guy. [Speaking on radio]
M: Yeah, got that
Marine A: Where is the CAT, Ugly call sign?
Marine B: It’s gone that way
Marine A: Yeah
Marine B: Went South, mate
M: (What was that?) [Distant voice]
M: (Don’t know) [Distant voice]
M: …
M: …
Marine A: There you are, shuffle off this mortal coil you ****
M: …
Marine A: It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us
Marine B: I know
M: Exactly.
M: All right.
Marine A: Obviously, this doesn’t go anywhere, fellas
Marine B: Yeah, roger, mate.
Marine A: I’ve just broke the Geneva Convention
Marine B: Yeah, roge.
M: …
Marine A: Biometric data module, right. Er try and brush some of that shit off his face
Marine B: If anything- if anything gets heard, mate, it’s as a warning shot went down
M: …
Marine A: Yeah [name of comrade] he’s er fully dead now [Speaking on radio]
M: (Yeah, roger) … [Response from radio]
Marine B: [Laughs]
Marine A: Yeah, just getting a … mate. [Speaking on radio]