Plymouth murder charge Royal Marines appear in secret court
FIVE Royal Marines charged with murder have appeared at a behind-closed-doors court hearing, The Herald can reveal.
The men, of Plymouth-based 3 Commando Brigade, were brought before a judge at Bulford Military Court Centre this week at the request of the Service Prosecuting Authority. the military court proceedings a request was granted that will keep the Marines’ identities secret.
A further request for the five to be kept in custody until Monday was also granted.
The Herald understands the anonymity order was granted as a result of fears that the Marines’ safety could be in danger.
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All five appeared in person and were represented by their respective lawyers, but no trial date was set.
A spokesperson for the Judicial Office confirmed to The Herald: “On Monday, October 15, the Service Prosecuting Authority requested a custody hearing in respect of five members of the Royal Marines at Bulford Military Court Centre.
“All of the Marines were represented and appeared in person.
“The judge advocate granted the custody application and they were remanded in custody until October 22, when this situation will be reviewed by a judge advocate on that date.
“No date has yet been set for trial.”
It has not been revealed where the five are being kept in custody.
The five were arrested last week after footage was discovered on a serviceman’s laptop after he was arrested for a separate civilian matter, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
Four further commandos were arrested but released without charge pending further enquiries.
The MoD says the charges relate to an incident in Afghanistan in 2011, when 3 Commando Brigade were on an operational tour in the country.
An MoD spokesman said the incident “followed an engagement with an insurgent” and added that no civilians were involved.
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During their six-month tour of duty, between April and October last year, Bickleigh-based 42 Commando lost seven Marines, all killed in action.