'No clemency bid' for killer Marine
Nobody on deployment in Afghanistan has called for clemency for a Royal Marine convicted of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said on a visit to Helmand province.
Mr Hammond said it was clear the murder was against the values of both Britain and the armed forces, in an interview with the Sky News Murnaghan programme.
The Defence Secretary's comments echoed the views of General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the Chief of the Defence Staff of the British Armed Forces, who said the Army must be "immaculate" in upholding judicial process.
A Royal Marine, known in court only as Marine A, was convicted of killing the wounded insurgent after footage emerged of him shooting the man at close range in the centre of his chest.
Mr Hammond said: "I have not heard any such suggestions (for clemency) here. People here understand part of what makes us different from the insurgents and the terrorists that we are going after is we maintain a certain standard.
"These are standards that are core to our values as a society and core to the values of the British Armed Forces. This is an isolated incident, I believe, one individual who has let the side down.
"It is not indicative of the kind of behaviour that people in the British Armed Forces condone or expect to indulge in. I have heard no suggestion since I have been here there is any request for special treatment for anyone convicted of the crime of murder."
Speaking earlier on the BBC One Andrew Marr Show, Gen Houghton said: "My position on this is no serviceman or woman of the British Armed Forces is above the law - not above the law of the country, international law or the law of armed conflict.
"This was a heinous crime. Judicial process has found this individual guilty. It would be quite wrong for the armed forces to adopt some special pleading, some sort of exemption.
"If we try to put ourselves beyond the law or expect special provision from the law, then we start to erode the position where we have a moral ascendancy over those who are our enemies and that is the wrong thing to do.
"There is a due process that will lead to a sentencing. It's for that process to determine whether or not any form of clemency should be shown in the sentencing... we would not want our position to be eroded.
"Those in authority over the armed forces should not request any form of leniency... we should be immaculate in these respects. Murder is murder, this is a heinous crime, thankfully it is an exceptional act in terms of the conduct of our armed forces."