A US Marine has been sentenced to a reduction in ranks after he admitted at a court martial urinating on the body of a dead Afghan combatant.
Staff Sgt Joseph Chamblin was also told to forfeit $500 pay after admitting to wrongful desecration, among other charges. He was initially given 30 days in jail but will not serve the time because of a plea deal with military prosecutors.
Video footage of the incident shocked the world when it emerged in January.
Three other Marines have already been disciplined for their role in the incident, and another is facing court martial.
Adding to tensions
The three other servicemen who were disciplined in August all pleaded guilty.
One admitted “urinating on the body of a deceased Taliban soldier”, another said he posed for a photo with human casualties, and a third admitted lying to investigators.
In the video, someone can be heard saying: “Have a good day, buddy.”
The incidents are believed to have taken place during a counter-insurgency operation in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on or around 27 July 2011, the Marine Corps said.
The footage surfaced at a sensitive time for US-Afghan relations, as American officials attempted to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
One month later, violent protests broke out in Afghanistan after it emerged US troops had incinerated a number of copies of the Koran.
The holy books had been confiscated from prisoners, amid claims they were being used to pass secret messages.
The ensuing unrest claimed 30 lives and saw two US troops shot dead.
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