Judge releases Afghan 'execution' audio

Extract from helmet camera recording of incident in Helmand, Afghanistan

Related Stories

A recording of a conversation between three Royal Marines as they allegedly murdered a captured Afghan insurgent has been released by a judge.

In the clip, recorded on one marine's helmet-mounted camera, a gunshot is heard, then groans from the insurgent.

The prosecution at the court martial says the shooting was in effect an execution.

The trio, Marines A, B and C, deny murdering the man while on duty in Helmand province in 2011.

Marine A is accused of shooting the man, while Marines B and C are said to have been "party to the killing".

Warning: the transcript of the exchange below contains strong language.

Judge Jeff Blackett, judge advocate general, had ruled that the video capturing the incident should not be released because it could be used as propaganda by terrorists.

But he ruled at the court martial in Bulford, Wiltshire, that the audio could be published as the panel retired to consider the case at after two weeks of evidence.

The six minutes and 24 seconds of footage shows the Royal Marine patrol waiting outside a field of tall crops, with an Apache helicopter audible overhead.

They can be heard swearing and complaining about their task of carrying out a "damage assessment" after the helicopter attack.

The court martial heard the insurgent had been shot at with 139 30mm anti-tank rounds but was still alive - albeit seriously injured - when discovered by the patrol.

Marines A and C are seen scouting out the field and locating the Afghan before calling the others over.

As Marine B walks towards them, the camera captures its first shot of the insurgent - lying on the ground, covered in blood. The patrol drags the man across the field and into a wooded area nearby.

The film shown to the court shows Marine A shooting the Afghan prisoner with a 9mm pistol at close range before saying: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil... It's nothing you wouldn't do to us."

Prosecutors allege he then turned to his comrades and said: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

The transcript of the recording includes:

"Do you want him back in?"

"I want him back in here so I can see what I'm fucking doing."


"Err, anybody want to do first aid on this idiot?"



"Could put one in his head if you want? Take your pick."


"Not in his head because that will be fucking obvious."

Marine A told the court martial that he believed the man was already dead when he fired the shot.

The court heard the incident occurred after a patrol base came under attack from small arms fire from two insurgents.

The case has been adjourned until Friday.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More UK stories


Features & Analysis

  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    How Korea helped prostitutes work near US military bases

  • LuckyDumped

    The rubbish collector left on the scrap heap as his city cleans up

  • Walmart employees and supporters block off a major intersection near the Walton Family Foundation to stage a protest calling for $15 an hour and consistent full-time work in downtown Washington October 16, 2014. Black mark

    Wal-Mart workers revolt against the annual shopping bonanza

  • Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1More than 'Games'

    Fact and fiction blur in Mockingjay film.

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • UnderwaterHidden depths

    How do you explore the bottom of the ocean? BBC Future finds out


  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.