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Three Royal Marines pleaded not guilty today to the murder of a unknown Afghan while on active service.
The men, known only as Marines A, B and C, entered their pleas in rank order from behind a screen amid tight security at the Military Court Centre in Bulford, Wiltshire.
The men denied the allegation under Section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 that on or about September 15 2011 they murdered the captured person while on patrol in Afghanistan.
David Perry QC, prosecuting, said the core of the prosecution case would be video footage.
Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett set a two-day pre-trial review hearing to start on August 5 with a trial due to last three to four weeks to commence on October 21.
All three marines were granted bail. Two further marines have been told that the murder charges against them have been dropped.
Five Royal Marines based in Plymouth remain in custody accused of murder. The servicemen from 3 Brigade were charged yesterday in connection with an incident last year in Afghanistan. The Director of Service Prosecutions will decide whether they should face a court martial.
Five Royal Marines have been charged with murder in relation to an incident in Afghanistan in 2011, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said today. Seven marines were arrested on Thursday. Royal Military Police (RMP) arrested two more on suspicion of murder.
Four have since been released without charge. The charges are linked to an incident when Plymouth-based Royal Marine 3 Commando Brigade was based in Helmand.
Seven Royal Marines are in custody on suspicion of murder. We understand they are all members of 3 Commando brigade which is based in Plymouth.
They're being held following an incident in Afghanistan last year. John Andrews reports:
Seven Royal Marines have been arrested on suspicion of murder following an incident in Afghanistan the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
The Royal Military Police arrested the soldiers, believed to be members of 3 Commando Brigade, in connection with an incident in August 2011.
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