Author Topic: No Charges in 2007 Friendly Fire Case in AFG  (Read 1866 times)

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No Charges in 2007 Friendly Fire Case in AFG
« on: October 31, 2008, 14:05:00 »
Decision by the Army Prosecuting Authority regarding incident in Helmand Province Afghanistan on 23 August 2007 in which three soldiers were killed and two soldiers injured
UK ARMY PROSECUTING AUTHORITY News Release, 31 Oct 08
News release link

On 23 August 2007 members of B Company 1 Royal Anglian Regiment were conducting a clearance patrol in the vicinity of Mazdurak, Helmand Province Afghanistan. They came under fire from enemy forces using small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades. Close air support was provided by two aircraft one of which dropped a 500 lb bomb onto the Royal Anglian position. A Senior Non-Commissioned Officer (SNCO) Forward Air Controller passed instructions to the pilot and the Aircraft Weapons Systems Officer. It was alleged that the SNCO negligently failed to ensure that the pilot had the correct grid reference for the target. As a result the bomb was dropped on friendly forces rather than enemy forces as intended. The bomb caused the tragic death of three soldiers and two other soldiers sustained serious blast injuries.

A case against the SNCO was referred to the Army Prosecuting Authority (APA) on 13 August 2008.

Because of the serious nature of the allegations, and the tragic consequences, the APA sought the opinion of Queen's Counsel.

After careful consideration of the available evidence, the prevailing battle conditions and counsel's opinion, the APA has concluded that there is no realistic prospect of conviction on any charge and additionally, that the circumstances of the incident are such that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute.

A decision has therefore been made that court martial proceedings will not be instituted in this case.

The next-of-kin of the deceased soldiers, the injured soldiers and the SNCO have all been informed of the above decision.

Headquarters
Army Prosecuting Authority
Hillingdon House RAF Uxbridge
Middlesex UB10 0RZ
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