Jailed marine Sergeant Alex Blackman will not be released from prison for the time being, as the Royal Courts of Justice have decided to defer a decision on his bail hearing until next week, the most senior judge in England and Wales has ruled.
‘Marine A’ won the right to appeal his murder conviction earlier this month after a review raised doubts over the circumstances of his killing of a Taliban fighter in Afghanistan in 2011. Although the case won’t be heard until Summer 2017, the Royal Courts of Justice sat today to hear whether the Marine could be released on bail until the hearing.
While Marine A campaigners were hoping for the judge to announce the conditional release of Sergeant Alex Blackman today, the judge instead announced the decision would be put back until next week. Marine A’s wife was met with cheers and applause as she and her legal team emerged from the courthouse this afternoon.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) spent a year looking into the case, and decided that based on new information about Sergeant Blackman’s mental health at the time of the fatal shooting of a Taliban fighter, the decision to give him a lift sentence should be reviewed.
The Telegraph newspaper reported the remarks of Sergeant Blackman’s wife, who said he wasn’t optimistic about his chances for being let out in bail. She said: “This time it’s very hard for him. Particularly a lot of lads are saying ‘You are going home, you are going home’, and he’s saying ‘Hang on, it’s not a foregone conclusion’… He hasn’t wanted to jinx anything. I guess he’s thought about what he might take with him, but he’s not gone so far as to pack a bag.”