A Royal Marine from Devon is to be sentenced, along with a colleague, for assaulting an Afghan prisoner detained on suspicion of planting a roadside bomb.
Sergeant Mark Leader, based at the Commando Training Centre in Lympstone, was found guilty by a court martial panel of assault causing actual bodily harm to Mohammad Ekhlas on March 19 last year.
His colleague Captain Jody Wheelhouse, from 45 Commando, Arbroath, Scotland, admitted the same offence at an earlier hearing.
The defendants are to be sentenced at the HMS Nelson court martial centre at Portsmouth Naval Base.
The trial at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, heard that Ekhlas was apprehended east of Sangin, Helmand Province, on suspicion of planting an improvised explosive device (IED). After his arrest Ekhlas was subjected to violence, classed as being legitimate force, the court was told.
The 48-year-old was transferred, along with another detainee who was later shot dead when he tried to escape, to a forward operating base at Wistan. He was then transported to a nearby base at Jackson, where his injuries were photographed before he was taken to a tent, usually used by ill servicemen.
A Royal Military Policewoman tasked with guarding him had to leave the tent for a short time, putting two other Royal Marines in charge. It was then that Ekhlas was assaulted by Leader and Wheelhouse, causing him to suffer further injuries to those shown in the previous photographs.
The trial heard that Leader was seen hitting Ekhlas with a Wellington boot. He needed four stitches to his lip, had a cut on his forehead and two of his teeth were loose. Leader claimed that he used lawful violence against Ekhlas in self-defence.
But the court heard that Leader said of Ekhlas: "I don't know why they brought him back. They should have killed him."
Ekhlas was later handed over to the Afghan authorities, then released, and cannot now be traced, the court was told.Reuse content