Jailed sniper is a victim of ‘shameful betrayal’

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.”

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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.