Five Royal Marines have been charged with murder following an "incident" in Afghanistan, with two further servicemen being arrested.
By Hannah Furness
8:29AM BST 14 Oct 2012
A total of nine Royal Marines have now been arrested on suspicion of murder over the incident, with five of them remaining in custody after being charged.
Four have been released without charge pending further inquiries.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence this morning said: "The Royal Military Police (RMP) has arrested two further Royal Marines on suspicion of murder in relation to an incident alleged to have taken place in Afghanistan in 2011, taking the total number arrests to nine.
“Four Marines have since been released without charge pending further enquiries.
“The RMP has referred the cases of the remaining five Royal Marines to the independent Service Prosecuting Authority (SPA). Following direction from the SPA these marines have now been charged with murder and they remain in custody pending court proceedings.
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“It would be inappropriate to comment further on this ongoing investigation.”
The servicemen are understood to have been arrested after a video was discovered on a laptop belonging to a Royal Marine.
The clip appears to show members of a Royal Marine patrol standing around a Taliban fighter as he lay injured on the ground in a compound.
They were apparently discussing what to do with him and whether to administer first aid but the film is said to cut out before anything happens.
The Royal Military Police have confirmed the man died, sources told The Daily Telegraph.
The footage was discovered after one of the members of the patrol was arrested by civilian police in the UK over an unrelated matter, it is understood.
The other marines, who had been serving in the Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand when the incident took place last year, were arrested back in Britain at 4.30pm on Thursday.
During their six-month tour of duty, between April and October last year, 42 Commando, based in Plymouth, saw seven servicemen killed in action.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence have said the incident “followed an engagement with an insurgent” and added that no civilians were involved.
The investigation is being run by the Royal Military Police who have arrested the men in order to question them further.
It is being dealt with by the “Service Justice system” of courts martial but the men could face trial in a civilian court if they are charged.
The MoD said the arrests demonstrated the Armed Forces’ determination to ensure servicemen “act in accordance with their rules of engagement and our standards.”
They said an internal investigation was also being opened to see if lessons could be learned.
Tags: Afghanistan, Occupation, US, UK, NATO, Taliban, Pakistan, terrorist, Punjabi, ISI, Al, Qaeda
Location: Afghanistan (load item map)
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