London: A decorated British Army officer
was court-martialled on Tuesday for keeping top secret military
files at his home.
Major Robert Armstrong appeared in British military
court charged with four offenses relating to the discovery of
the files from his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a damaged
Glock pistol, ammunition and a morphine injector found during
a search of his office and home in 2009.
The charges followed an investigation into whether
Armstrong was properly awarded the Military Cross for bravery
Prosecutors said that Armstrong had kept 189
electronic files, which contained protectively marked
documents ranging from classified to top secret, on a storage
device and used them on his personal laptop.
While Armstrong was entitled to have access to the
files, he was not allowed to transfer these documents onto his
own personal storage device, the court heard.
Judge Robert Hill said that if the files had fallen
into the public domain there would have been "dire"
consequences for national security.
The prosecutor, Lt Col Callum Cowx, said Armstrong
has accepted that none of the objects should have been in his
possession and recognizes the potential harm loss of those
items could have had.
"His action amounted to a dereliction of duty," Cowx
said, telling the court martial`s three-man board that
Armstrong denied all four charges.