Washington, 6 Rabiul Awwal 1434/18 January 2013 (MINA) – A US marine who along with his comrades urinated on the bodies of three dead Afghans has pleaded guilty to a number of charges during a court-martial in North Carolina.

       Staff Sergeant Edward W. Deptola admitted on Wednesday to desecrating the corpses and posing for what he called “trophy photographs.’’

       Deptola, the fifth US serviceman to face disciplinary action over the case, also admitted that he failed to stop the other marines involved in the incident and did not report the violations of military regulations.

       Last month, another staff sergeant pleaded guilty to similar charges and was reduced in rank, according to PressTV report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Friday.

       The shocking incident reportedly happened during an operation in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in July 2011.

        But its video surfaced on the Internet months later in January 2012.

        The desecration, one of several incidents involving US troops in Afghanistan, sparked an outrage in the Asian country and raised fears that the incidents would turn ordinary Afghans against the US-led foreign forces in the country.

        The judge at the Camp Lejeune court-martial initially wanted to sentence Deptola to six months’ confinement, a $5,000 fine, demotion to private and a bad-conduct discharge.

       But the defendant reached a plea agreement with prosecutors to be demoted one rank. (T/R-011/R-006)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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