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Rare Acquittal in Court Martial Case

Natalie Berman instructed Ben Smitten of 25 Bedford Row, to defend a Colonel in the British Army (who was also a Cambridge law graduate) at the Catterick Court Martial Centre.

In 2019, the defendant was President of the Board in Court Martial proceedings (the equivalent of jury foreman) and was accused of intentionally disclosing information that formed part of the deliberations of the board in an email to a colleague following the conclusion of the proceedings. 

He was charged with intentionally disclosing "votes cast" and "arguments advanced" by members of the Court Martial in the course of their deliberations contrary to Section 5(1) of Schedule 2A of the Armed Forces Act 2006 (the equivalent of section 20D of the Juries Act 1974).

He was tried before a 5 member board (a General, a Brigadier and 3 Colonels). His defence was that he did not have the requisite intent as he believed the material was in the public domain. 

Following a trial he was acquitted following a 52 minute retirement.

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