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Former Australian soldier charged with war crime

A former soldier is expected to be charged with committing a war crime in Afghanistan.

A former soldier is expected to be charged with committing a war crime in Afghanistan. Photo: AAP

A former Australian soldier who served in Afghanistan has been charged with a war crime by federal police.

The man was arrested on Monday morning in regional NSW and was expected to appear in Queanbeyan Local Court on Tuesday.

The AFP and the Office of the Special Investigator said on Monday afternoon the 41-year-old man had been charged with one count of war crime – murder, a punishment that carries a penalty of life imprisonment.

The man has been identified by the ABC and News Corp as former special forces soldier Oliver Schulz.

Mr Schulz, 41, was shown in an ABC Investigations-Four Corners story in 2020 shooting an Afghan man in a wheat field in Uruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan. The alleged incident occurred in from 2012.

The ABC said it understood Mr Schulz was arrested early on Monday by the Australian Federal Police in the Goulburn area of NSW.

Mr Schulz – who was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan – would be the first member of the Australian Defence Force to be charged with a war crime under Australian law.

A joint statement by the AFP and the OSI said they were working to investigate allegations of criminal offences under Australian law related to breaches of the Laws of Armed Conflict by Australian Defence Force personnel in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

– with AAP

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