Marine to be freed within weeks after Taliban killing

/ 28 March 2017

A Royal Marine convicted of fatally shooting a wounded Taliban fighter in Afghanistan could be freed from prison within weeks.

Sergeant Alexander Blackman, 42, was sentenced to seven years for manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Blackman has already served half of this sentence due to a now quashed murder conviction for the same incident, as a result, the decision of five judges at the Court Martial Appeal Court means it is possible that he could be freed next month.

The 2011 fatal shooting took place after a British patrol came under fire. Blackman, who was known as Marine A during the original trial process in 2013, was seen on footage from the helmet camera of another marine shooting the Afghan prisoner with a 9mm pistol.

The original murder conviction was re-examined after his wife, Claire, led an appeal campaign.

Surrounded by scores of veterans outside the Appeal Court in London, she said: “We are overjoyed at the judges’ decision to significantly reduce Al’s sentence, such that he can be released imminently. “This is the moment that we have all been fighting hard for. It is hard to believe that this day is finally here.”