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Execution marine 'can be named'

Three High Court judges ruled that Sergeant Alexander Blackman could be identified

A Royal Marine convicted of murdering an injured insurgent in Afghanistan yesterday failed in his bid to retain his anonymity.

Three High Court judges ruled that Sergeant Alexander Blackman could be identified.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas, sitting with Mr Justice Tugendhat and Mr Justice Holroyde in London, also said two acquitted servicemen should be named.

The decision followed a hearing last week during which an argument was made on behalf of the servicemen that their lives would be at "real and immediate" risk if their names were released.

The question of the naming of two further Royal Marines, against whom charges were discontinued, will be the subject of a further hearing.

Sgt Blackman, who had completed tours of Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland during his military career, is facing a potential life sentence for murder.

A court martial board found him guilty last month of murdering the man in Helmand more than two years ago. The victim had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter.

Video footage recorded on the helmet camera of another soldier showed that as the wounded man lay on the floor convulsing and struggling for breath, Sgt Blackman said: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil you cunt. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us."

He shot the insurgent in the chest but said he believed the victim was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse.

Prior to a video of the murder coming to light, Mr Blackman was apparently being considered for promotion to Colour Sergeant.


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