Five UK Royal Marines were charged with murder on Sunday in connection with an incident in 2011 in Afghanistan. The charge allegedly arises out of a video [Telegraph report] that showed marines in an incriminating situation with a wounded member of the Taliban. An independent agency that supervises military prosecutions, the Service Prosecuting Authority [official website], decided to bring the murder charge against five of the nine marines arrested in relation to the incident. The other four were released. The five charged will remain in custody [BBC report] until appearing before a court martial.
There have been several incidents arising out of the Afghan and Iraqi conflicts. In February the US Army dropped all charges [JURIST report] against Army Specialist Michael Wagnon, originally charged with killing Afghan civilians. In January US Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to the charge of negligent dereliction of duty. Sgt. Calvin Gibbs was convicted of three counts [JURIST report] of premeditated murder last November and was sentenced to life in prison. In December 2010 Staff Sergeant Robert Stevens pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to shooting two unarmed Afghan farmers. Charges against Lt. Colonel Jeffrey Chessani were dropped [JURIST report] in June 2008.