(MENAFN) Australian Federal Police have arrested a former soldier over allegations that he murdered a man while deployed in Afghanistan. The arrest comes more than two years after an internal investigation found that 39 civilians and prisoners had been "unlawfully killed" by Australian elite special forces. The 41-year-old veteran is expected to be charged with a war crime and could face life in prison if found guilty. According to police, it will be alleged that he murdered an Afghan man while deployed to Afghanistan with the Australian Defense Force.
The charges are reported to be related to the shooting of a man in 2012 in the southern Afghanistan province of Uruzgan. The arrest is part of ongoing investigations into alleged war crimes committed by Australian troops in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. A 2020 inquiry revealed allegations of summary executions, body count competitions, and torture by Australian forces and recommended that police investigate 19 people.
The findings of the inquiry were a watershed moment for Australia, which holds its military in high esteem and had attempted to suppress whistleblower reports of the alleged wrongdoing. Australian police even investigated reporters involved in bringing the allegations to light. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, more than 26,000 Australian uniformed personnel were sent to Afghanistan to fight alongside US and allied forces against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and other Islamist groups.
The arrest of the former soldier is a significant development in the investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Australian troops in Afghanistan. It highlights the commitment of Australian authorities to hold those who are alleged to have committed war crimes accountable for their actions. If found guilty, the former soldier could face life in prison, underscoring the seriousness of the alleged offense.
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