Former Australian soldier charged with alleged war crimes in Afghanistan | world news
An Australian veteran has been charged with the alleged murder of an Afghan, following a war crimes investigation.
The 41-year-old man was arrested in New South Wales and identified by Australian Broadcasting Corp as former Special Air Service Regiment Private Oliver Schulz.
“It will be alleged that he murdered an Afghan while deployed in Afghanistan,” a statement from the Australian Federal Police said.
His arrest is the first after a military report released in 2020 found evidence that Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners, farmers and civilians.
The report recommended 19 current and former soldiers who served in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016 are the subject of a criminal investigation.
If convicted, Schulz faces a life sentence.
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Helmet footage released by ABC in 2020 depicted a soldier they named Schulz shooting at an Afghan in a wheat field in Uruzgan province in southern Afghanistan in 2012.
He is due to appear in court in Sydney within days, where a magistrate will consider whether he will be released on bail.
Australia was part of a NATO-led international force that trained Afghan security forces and fought the Taliban.
Over the 20 years of Australian presence in the country, until their withdrawal in 2021, more than 39,000 military personnel served there and 41 were killed.