A former SAS trooper has been arrested by Australian Federal Police near Goulburn, NSW, in relation to alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan.
A joint investigation between the Office of the Special Investigator (OSI) and the AFP has today resulted in the arrest of a New South Wales man.
It is expected he will be charged with one count of War Crime—Murder under subsection 268.70(1) Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Investigators arrested the man, 41, in regional NSW this morning and he is expected to appear in a NSW Local Court later today, Monday 20 March 2023.
It will be alleged he murdered an Afghan man while deployed to Afghanistan with the Australian Defence Force.
The maximum penalty for a War Crime—Murder offence is life imprisonment.
OSI and AFP are working together 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.
A joint statement from OSI and AFP said that as the matter will be before the court and the investigation is ongoing, no further comment will be made.
However, while the ABC has already identified a soldier by name and photograph as being the man arrested, CONTACT will refrain from naming him until the details are officially confirmed.
That said, the ABC says he is the soldier shown in an ABC 4 Corners episode allegedly shooting an unarmed man in a wheat field.
If it is the man identified by the ABC, they say he was awarded a Commendation for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan.
The OSI was established in 2021 as one element of the Australian government’s response to the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force’s Afghanistan Inquiry report – AKA, the Brereton report.