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Murder charge Marines await verdict

A court martial board will begin a second day of deliberations in the trial of three Royal Marines accused of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent.

The commandos, known only as Marines A, B and C, are accused of the "execution" of the man in Helmand Province more than two years ago.

The marines have pleaded not guilty to murdering the unknown captured Afghan national on or about September 15 2011 contrary to Section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.

Marine A is alleged to have shot the Afghan national in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol before telling him: "There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil you c***. It's nothing you wouldn't do to us."

He then allegedly turned to comrades and said: "Obviously this doesn't go anywhere fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention."

The killing had been filmed by a camera mounted on the helmet of Marine B, prosecutors alleged during the two-week court martial at Bulford, Wiltshire.

Marines B and C are accused of being "party to the killing" and "encouraged and assisted" Marine A to commit the murder.

Yesterday, audio recordings from Marine B's camera capturing the moments leading up to and including the alleged execution were released by the court.

Selected still images from the footage were also released but Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett has ruled the full video should not be distributed to the public.

He told members of the seven-strong court martial board to "strive" to reach unanimous verdicts in the case - but military law allowed for a simple majority.

"The prosecution has brought the case and the burden of proof is on them," Judge Blackett said.

"The defendants do not have to prove anything.

"When considering the evidence you should consider it as a whole and decide what you accept and what you reject.

"Your task is to decide whether the prosecution has proved the offence as charged.

"When assessing the evidence use your common sense, use your experience of life in general and use your experience of the armed services."

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