LONDON - A British soldier "executed" an injured Afghan insurgent by shooting him in the chest at close range, a prosecutor told a court martial Wednesday.
The Royal Marine and two other soldiers, who can't be named for legal reasons, are charged with murdering the man on Sept. 15, 2011.
The three men deny the charges. If convicted, they could be sentenced to serve time in a military jail.
The incident took place after a military base in Afghanistan's Helmand Province was attacked by two insurgents, prosecutor David Perry said. A helicopter opened fire in response, and the three Marines then discovered the injured Afghan in a field.
The three moved the man to a sheltered area. One soldier fired the gun, while the other two "encouraged and assisted" the killing, Perry told the court.
"It was not a killing in the heat and exercise of any armed conflict. The prosecution case is that it amounted to an execution, a field execution," he said.
The incident was inadvertently filmed by a helmet-mounted camera, and the three defendants were arrested after the footage was retrieved by the Royal Military Police.
The footage, which was shown to a seven-member court martial panel Wednesday, showed the Afghan covered in blood and lying on the ground. One of the Marines was overheard asking: "Anyone want to give first aid to this idiot?" Another was heard asking another if he should shoot the man in the head.