Jailed sniper is a victim of ‘shameful betrayal’

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Four high-profile former members of the SAS have joined the battle to free a special forces sniper jailed for possessing a firearm, claiming he is victim of a “travesty of justice” and a “shameful betrayal”.

In an open letter to David Cameron, published in The Sun, Lieutenant Col Richard Williams, Col Tim Collins, Andy McNab and Chris Ryan demanded immediate action, saying: “Compare this man’s case to that of Abu Qatada and see if it is fair.”

Sgt Danny Nightingale, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military detention by a court martial. He was charged with illegally possessing a 9mm Glock pistol which had been packed up and returned to him by colleagues after he had to leave Iraq in a hurry to help organise the funeral of two friends killed in action.

The gun was a gift from Iraqi soldiers he had been helping to train in 2009 and he claimed he did not remember having it.