Execution of Afghan insurgent ‘shocking’

Images captured by a camera on the helmet of Marine B during the patrol in Afghanistan in which an insurgent was murdered.

One of Britain’s highest ranking Royal Marines has branded the cold-blooded execution of an injured Afghan insurgent as “truly shocking and appalling”.

Brigadier Bill Dunham, Deputy Commandant General Royal Marines, spoke out after a commando was convicted of murdering the seriously wounded prisoner in Helmand Province two years ago. The serviceman, known only as Marine A, shot him at close range in the centre of his chest.

As the man convulsed on the ground, Marine A told him: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.”

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

A court martial board yesterday found Marine A guilty of murder following a two-week trial at the military court centre in Bulford, Wiltshire.

Two others, known only as Marines B and C, were acquitted of the same charge, contrary to Section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006, by the seven-strong board.

Dunham said: “It is a matter of profound regret in this isolated incident that one marine failed to apply his training and discharge his responsibilities.

“What we have heard over the last two weeks is not consistent with the ethos, values and standards of the Royal Marines.

“It was a truly shocking and appalling aberration. It should not have happened and it should never happen again.”

The court heard the marines were on patrol in a “kinetic” area of Afghan-istan on Sept 15, 2011, when they found the insurgent lying seriously injured in a field following an attack by an Apache helicopter.

Superiors were informed the man had died from wounds sustained in the gunship attack, in which 139 30mm anti-tank rounds were fired at him.

However, a year later, footage of the murder — taken from a camera mounted on the helmet of Marine B — was founf on a laptop by military police investigating unrelated matters.

The harrowing video footage was played numerous times to the court martial board in Bulford, with audio recordings also released to the public.

Marines A, B, and C — along with other members of the patrol — were instructed to carry out a “battle damage assessment” of the area and discovered the man lying in a field.

During the trial, the three marines were hidden from public view by large screens, due to a court order protecting their identity.

The judge remanded Marine A into custody until sentencing on Dec 6.


Aileen Lee meets Christina Kenny - co-founder and design director of Lamb Design - to talk about her work and inspirations.Christina Kenny of Lamb Design: ‘I love bringing the outside in and inside out’

Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her career and the worth of luxury fashion. By Paul McLauchlan.From Marc Jacobs to her own label, Tyrone designer Sharon Wauchob on her life in fashion

The recent sentencing of two teenage boys for the murder of Ana Kriégel has once again brought the issue of pornography into public discourse. The details of the case, which are finally coming into public knowledge, illuminate some very worrying trends that are pervasive in the modern adolescent world and as parents and indeed as a society we can no longer languish in complacency.Learning Points: Hardcore porn can pollute our children’s minds

If children are confident in interacting with others it takes away so much stress and social anxiety for them. Not too long ago, my daughter Joan and I were out with friends at a restaurant and we wanted extra water and a few other bits and Joan volunteered to go up and ask the waiter for them. My friend was really surprised at this and said that none of her children would willingly do that.Mum’s the word: We should look for chances to strengthen our kids’ social skills

More From The Irish Examiner