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Australian soldier charged over Afghan killing freed on bail

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SYDNEY — A former elite soldier charged with homicide for allegedly killing an unarmed man in Afghanistan was launched on bail Tuesday by a Justice of the Peace who concluded he would face hazard from Muslim extremists in jail.

Oliver Schulz, 41, had been in custody since his arrest in rural New South Wales state final week on the conflict crime of homicide.

His lawyer Phillip Boulten utilized for bail in Sydney’s Downing Middle Native Courtroom on Monday, arguing the previous Particular Air Service Regiment trooper confronted critical dangers to his private security from Muslim extremists within the jail system and needed to be segregated from different inmates.

“Wherever this man goes to be held in jail, he’s prone to have to combine with folks in jail who sympathize with the Taliban or with different Islamic

extremist teams,” Boulten stated.

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Justice of the Peace Jennifer Atkinson granted the request, agreeing the dangers posed to him whereas behind bars have been too nice.

“It’s doable to deduce that there could also be some folks being held there who could take an antagonistic place in relation to what was stated to be the accused’s

habits each as a member of the (Australian Protection Drive) and in addition on the day the incident allegedly occurred,” Atkinson informed the court docket.

Schulz had been held at a most safety jail in Goulburn, 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Sydney. Most of New South Wales’ worst convicted terrorists are held at Goulburn.

Helmet digicam footage aired by Australian Broadcasting Corp. in 2020 that was shot in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province in 2012 will type a part of the prosecution case.

The footage allegedly exhibits Schulz shoot native man Dad Mohammad 3 times as he lay on his again in a wheat area together with his fingers and knees raised. His father later made a grievance to the Australian Protection Drive alleging his son had been shot within the head.

Atkinson stated that due to the homicide allegation, Schulz can be in a “very tough if not harmful setting” in custody and correctional employees couldn’t be out there 24 hours a day to oversee him.

“I’m of the view that the place the accused finds himself in could possibly be worse than different individuals who’re on remand given the actual safety dangers to his individual,” she stated.

Schulz would even have difficulties giving recommendation to his legal professionals and accessing confidential materials below strict situations because of nationwide safety considerations surrounding the case if he have been pressured to take action behind bars, Atkinson stated.

The court docket has suppressed the names of the city and area the place Schulz lives to guard his household from threats.

After footage of the Afghanistan capturing was broadcast nationally, the then-Protection Minister Linda Reynolds referred the allegation to the Australian Federal Police.

Schulz was suspended from obligation in 2020 and later discharged from the Australia Protection Drive on medical grounds.

Schulz, who was awarded the Commendation for Gallantry for his service in Afghanistan, is the primary former or serving Australian Protection Drive member to face a conflict crime cost of homicide below home regulation.

He faces a possible life sentence in jail if convicted.

He’s amongst 19 present and former Australian particular forces troopers who a conflict crimes investigation discovered may face costs for unlawful conduct in Afghanistan.

A navy report launched in 2020 after a four-year investigation discovered proof that Australian troops unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners, farmers and civilians.

Greater than 39,000 Australian navy personnel served in Afghanistan throughout the 20 years till the 2021 withdrawal, and 41 have been killed there.


Discover extra of AP’s Asia-Pacific protection at https://apnews.com/hub/asia-pacific

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