A ROYAL Marine jailed for life for murdering an injured Afghan insurgent is hoping to be freed today (April 10).
Sgt Alexander Blackman, 39, of Taunton, is appealing against his conviction and the ten-year minimum prison term imposed for executing a Taliban prisoner in Helmand Province.
Throughout his trial he was named as Marine A and his identity was only revealed after he was found guilty at a court martial in December.
He is serving his sentence in a civilian prison.
His appeal is being heard by the country’s three most senior High Court judges today, when the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, will be presiding.
Thousands of people protested after Blackman was told he must serve at least ten years before being eligible for parole.
His trial heard that he shot the insurgent in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol after a patrol base came under attack from small arms fire.
Blackman was filmed by a camera mounted on the helmet of another Marine.
His anonymity was lifted after a ruling in the High Court, but the anonymity of two other Marines is still in place.
All three Marines denied murdering the Afghan in September 2011, contrary to section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006.
Blackman, a member of 42 Commando in Plymouth, is the first British serviceman since at least the Second World War to be convicted of murder during an overseas deployment.
A BBC1 documentary last night posed the question of whether he is a war hero, victim or murderer.