Afghan national faces trial for murder of Aussie soldiers

THE Afghan national who stands accused of murdering three Australia soldiers in a "green-on-blue" attack last August, will stand trial in Afghanistan.

Defence Force Chief General David Hurley on Wednesday revealed the man, former Sergeant Hekmatullah, was in custody in Afghanistan.

He was allegedly responsible for the "green-on-blue attack which claimed the lives of Lance Corporation Stjepan Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate and injured two others last year.

It is understood he was then a sergeant in the Afghan National Army, but has been accused of being an agent of the Taliban since the attack.

Hekmatullah was first arrested in Pakistan in February, but was held for several months while Pakistani and Afghani authorities decided how to transfer him.

Gen Hurley said he was deported to Afghanistan overnight, and was expected to face trial for the triple murder during the insider attack at Patrol Base Wahab almost a year ago.

It is understood the Defence Force, Australian Secret Intelligence Service, Afghan National Directorate of Security and Defence Intelligence Organisations were involved in operations related to his capture.

"We have been relentless and determined in our efforts to pursue those who have murdered and wounded our people," Gen Hurley said.

"We will continue to co-operate with Afghan authorities as they prosecute the case for justice for these Australians."

Gen Hurley said defence had spoken to the fallen soldiers' families, but he had not personally.

However, he extended his deepest sympathies to the families, promising to do everything possible to ensure justice was done.

While he did not know whether Hekmatullah would be brought to trial in a criminal or military court in Afghanistan, Gen Hurley said Defence would help with any request made by Afghan authorities.



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