War Crime Charges for Veteran Years Later

War Crime Charges for Veteran Years Later

(ConservativeInsider.org) – In 2020, Australian Army Reserve Major General and New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Paul Brereton released a report that had been in the writing stage for four years detailing alleged crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan. The report examined the inner workings and missions of units stationed in the war-torn nation between 2009 and 2013. Three years after the report came out, the first arrest has been made as a result of the findings.

On Monday, March 20, authorities arrested former Australian special forces soldier Oliver Shulz, 41, and charged him with a war crime. Shulz allegedly shot and killed male farmers working in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province. This situation was covered in a 2020 ABC Four Corner documentary, where Shulz is referred to as “Soldier C.”

The Brereton Report details 23 reported incidents that led to 39 alleged murders of Afghans, as well as two additional victims who were poorly treated. In each case, the deceased were civilians, clearly not fighting against the soldiers. The report speaks to the horrors occurring within the Australian special forces that led to these alleged war crimes.

First, Judge Brereton reported on a kind of hazing that reportedly happened with new soldiers, where they were ordered to kill detainees. Officers supposedly created cover stories to hide the crimes. These coverups allegedly extended to mission reports, where squadrons would not provide the truth when writing official reports. Instead, the writings highlighted soldiers’ compliance with the laws of war. Brereton also found a strong sense of entitlement among the soldiers, all of whom chose to ignore or brush aside warning signs that horrible things were happening in the ranks.

Schulz is heading to Sydney to appear in court in the coming months. As the details of his case slowly emerge, many people hope that the families of those innocent Afghans slain will be able to get justice and closure from these alleged war crimes and that the Australian government will enact reforms to ensure such horrors never happen again.

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