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Marine Alexander Blackman to leave prison on Friday, campaigners say

The commando spent more than three years in prison for killing an insurgent, but had his murder sentence reduced to manslaughter.

Royal Marine Alexander Blackman, who shot dead an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan, will be released from prison on Friday, campaigners said.

The commando, who has spent more than three years in prison for killing the insurgent in 2011, will leave Erlestoke Prison, near Devizes, Wiltshire.

He was originally convicted of murder but this was quashed by the Court Martial Appeal Court and replaced with diminished responsibility manslaughter last month.

Five judges ruled that Blackman was suffering from an “abnormality of mental functioning” at the time of the incident, when he was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando.

His sentence was reduced to seven years, meaning he could be freed within weeks – a decision his wife Claire Blackman described as “the moment that we have all been fighting hard for”.

The Justice for Marine A campaign group had repeatedly posted that the time and date of Blackman’s release would not be made public due to “privacy and safety concerns”.

But in a statement posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon, it said: “We are delighted to announce that Al will finally be released tomorrow after what has been a well fought battle by you all.

“We will of course be posting more updates but can we please remember that this is a tense time for the family and that they have asked for some privacy. #justiceformarineA”.

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