Former Australian Soldier Charged with Murder in Afghanistan Released on Bail Due to Safety Concerns

(MENAFN) Former Special Air Service Regiment trooper Oliver Schulz, who has been charged with the war crime of murder for allegedly killing an unarmed man in Afghanistan, was released on bail on Tuesday by a magistrate who concluded that he would face danger from Muslim extremists in prison. Schulz had been in custody since his arrest in rural New South Wales state last week. His lawyer argued that Schulz faced serious risks to his personal safety from Muslim extremists in the prison system and had to be segregated from other inmates. The magistrate granted the request, agreeing that the risks posed to Schulz while behind bars were too great. Schulz had been held at a maximum-security prison in Goulburn, 200 kilometers southwest of Sydney, where most of New South Wales' worst convicted terrorists are held.

The prosecution case against Schulz includes helmet camera footage aired by Australian Broadcasting Corp. in 2020 that was shot in Afghanistan's Uruzgan Province in 2012. The footage allegedly shows Schulz shooting local man Dad Mohammad three times as he lay on his back in a wheat field with his hands and knees raised. Mohammad's father later made a complaint to the Australian Defense Force alleging that his son had been shot in the head. The release of Schulz on bail has sparked controversy, with some arguing that it sets a dangerous precedent and sends the wrong message about accountability for war crimes. However, others argue that the decision was made based on concerns for Schulz's safety and that he will still face trial for the alleged murder.



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