WARSAW (AFP) - A military court on Wednesday cleared seven soldiers over the deaths of a group of civilians in Afghanistan at the end of the first ever Polish court martial involving troops fighting the Taliban. Announcing his verdict, the presiding judge said the court had been unable to gather key evidence or hear from witnesses to the incident in southeastern Paktika province, giving it no option but to pass a not guilty verdict. "There is a lack of evidence that a war crime was committed in Nangar Khel," the judge, Miroslaw Jaroszewski, told the packed Warsaw courtroom. "Judging the case at hand, the court was not in possession of documentation precisely identifying the location from which weapons were fired, and the locations from which witnesses saw the events, or their ability to see the buildings in which the victims were located. "The court's attempts to acquire the evidence were unsuccessful due to circumstances beyond the court's control," he added. Military prosecutors later said they would decide whether to launch an appeal after reviewing the full written verdict. Terming the deaths in 2007 of the six Afghan civilians in the village of Nangar Khel "a deliberate act", the prosecutors had sought prison sentences ranging from five to 12 years for the accused. However their former chief brigade commander General Jerzy Wojcik said after the verdict that while the soldiers had committed errors, they could however be justified under the circumstances of the mission. "Under stress, anyone can commit errors and in this case errors were made. The court certainly confirmed it. Errors which can be justified," he told reporters. One of the accused, Warrant Officer Andrzej Osiecki, meanwhile told Poland's TVN24 commercial news channel that he was delighted by the acquittal. "I'd like to thank all the people who supported us from the very beginning," he added.