UK soldier charged over top-secret documents



UK soldier charged over top-secret documents 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 in Afghanistan.

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.

PTI