I am sharing this with over 100 people on my address list. I figure if each of you does likewise, to as many as possible on your
address lists this should boomerang outwards and cause a bit more of a stir than it is doing. It needs to be talked about in as many places in the world as possible.
So all you nice people in Australia and NZ and in the good old US of A, Germany and elsewhere. please forward to all your friends and families. Thanks in advance for doing so…. Amen
Please share let’s get the message out to as many as possible please
PUT UNDER CONSIDERABLE PRESSURE ! By who name them !
THERE YOU HAVE IT RETRIAL STOP DRAGGING YOUR FEET ” Not Guilty”
Look at the combat experience of the board !
Judged by your Peers ! Sorry don’t stack up !
Court martial panel ‘was split 5-2 over guilty verdict’
• Only five of the seven officers found Sgt Blackman guilty of murder
• The other two claimed they had come under ‘considerable pressure’
• Sgt Blackman was saluted by some of the jury following his conviction
• Alexander Blackman was found guilty by only five of the seven jurors trying him, it was claimed yesterday.
• The other two officers on the court martial panel are said to have come under ‘very considerable pressure’ to change their not guilty verdicts.
• It meant the Royal Marine sergeant was convicted by a 5-2 majority, which would not be adequate in a civilian trial. If 12 jurors are split by a similar ratio at crown court there is a hung jury – leading either to a retrial or the charges being dropped.
But the different rules of a court martial meant just five guilty votes were enough to see Blackman convicted of murder and jailed for life.
After he was sentenced, members of the panel broke with the rules and saluted the condemned man
‘They saluted and let it be known afterwards it was because they thought Al was a decent man,’ she said.
Frederick Forsyth, who is spearheading the campaign for justice for Blackman, said: ‘Honourable men do not salute a perjurer and a murderer.
‘They were sending a message and what they were saying was “We’ve done what we were told to do”.
‘This court martial, in my view, stank from top to bottom.’
The best-selling thriller writer alleges there was behind-the-scenes meddling by top brass to fix the result of the case. He said: ‘Two to five was the verdict. I know this to be true, I cannot reveal how. This is shaky by any measure.
‘One of the seven who voted not guilty says he and another man were put under very considerable pressure to change their view, and to conform to the guilty verdict they believed was what was required.
‘The question is, who was applying this pressure and who was giving the orders for a guilty verdict?’
Any suggestion of pressure on a jury in a crown court would immediately cause the trial to be halted.
Last night Baron Burnett, a Liberal Democrat peer and former Royal Marine who has visited Blackman in prison, said: ‘If it were 5-2 in a civilian court, this would not be sufficient to convict somebody.
‘When did a court martial last try a serious murder case?
They do not have much experience in these matters.
The court martial system is flawed and needs to change.
I have been told that a Royal Marine colonel was telephoned by a member of the panel after the hearing and told: “We were under terrific political pressure”.
The path to justice for Blackman now leads via the Criminal Cases Review Commission to the Courts Martial Appeal Court. The CCRC is the statutory agency set up to put right miscarriages of justice.
It cannot overturn a conviction or sentence, but it does have the power to refer a case back to the appeal court if it believes there is a ‘real possibility’ it might be quashed there.
Spearheaded by leading defence QC Jonathan Goldberg, his new legal team will first submit a lengthy written report for the CCRC to consider.
They intend to offer fresh evidence of post-traumatic stress disorder due to combat fatigue,
Meanwhile, it has been claimed that the seven-strong jury deciding Blackman’s fate were mainly desk-based sailors. It is understood that only two of the Royal Navy and Royal Marine officers on the panel had much ‘on the ground’ experience of the savage fighting in Afghanistan
Frederick Forsyth said they ‘cannot have begun to imagine the hell of Helmand’.
The judge, advocate General Jeff Blackett, worked in the supplies branch of the Navy and then pay and pensions, before going into the legal section of the services. not exactly independent would you say ?
The president of the panel of jurors was
Lt Col Christopher Holmes of Navy command headquarters.
Lt Cmdr Love, of the defence equipment and support centre;
Lt Cmdr Nick Cory, of the joint signals unit;
Lt Evans, of HMS Collingwood, an office building in Portsmouth; and
Warrant Officer Gowers, of an assessment centre in Portsmouth.
More battlefield experience came with
Major Adam Whitmarsh, of 43 Commando Royal Marines, who three years ago was commended by the Queen for hunting down Somali pirates.
His team helped free a Pakistani dhow and an Italian vessel. The 30 captured Somalis were sent for trial in Italy and the Seychelles.
Major Whitmarsh had also served in Northern Ireland and Iraq and completed two tours of Afghanistan.
Captain Ben Sercombe, a Royal Marine and commander of Britain’s amphibious forces for the past two years. He has served in Afghanistan, but has also found time to be a champion of the Royal Marines Angling Association.
WHY THE BATTLE FOR JUSTICE FOR SGT BLACKMAN IS SO IMPORTANT
• Sergeant Alexander Blackman – believed to be the only British serviceman ever convicted of murder on the battlefield – was locked up as a ‘political scapegoat’ for failings by top brass, say supporters.
• Blackman was a highly experienced Marine destined for promotion when, on September 15, 2011, he led a patrol to check on a Taliban gunman who had been mortally wounded while attacking a British outpost in Helmand Province. It was near the end of a horror-filled tour of Afghanistan in which seven fellow Marines had been killed and 40 more injured by the Taliban.
• The insurgent was found dying in a field, and was shot by Blackman – who told the court he believed the man was already dead – in a ‘moment of madness’ blamed on the acute stresses of the tour.
• In his first interview, given in prison, Blackman, 41, told the Mail: ‘I made a split-second mistake, but I had been sent to a brutal battlefield to fight a war for my country. At the end of my trial, the Establishment lined up to portray me as evil, because it suited them … to show the world how politically correct we are. I have been made a scapegoat for all that went wrong there.’
• Now a campaign spearheaded by legendary thriller writer Frederick Forsyth is mounting a fresh legal appeal to free Blackman – known as ‘Marine A’ after a painstaking Mail investigation revealed that evidence that might have resulted in a lesser charge of manslaughter was ‘deliberately withheld’.
• A high-flying colonel who was blocked from telling the truth to the court martial called it ‘a failure of moral courage by the chain of command’. The colonel was so disgusted that he resigned his commission.
• Also court martial panel members sent a message to Blackman – who is eligible for parole after eight years – apologising for the length of his sentence.
• A shameful injustice: Campaign fights to overturn conviction of Marine given life for ‘murdering’ Taliban in the heat of battle as shocking flaws in his trial are revealed
• A fall guy for a fiasco: Two of his comrades were blown to pieces, a third was tortured and the severed limbs of another were hung from a tree by the Taliban – such was the hell a ‘superb’ Marine endured
• How hero colonel resigned in protest at the betrayal of Sergeant Blackman and ‘a failure of moral courage by the chain of command’