A former Australian soldier accused of committing a war crime in Afghanistan was arrested on Monday, as part of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing by the military in the Middle Eastern country.
The 41-year-old veteran could face a life sentence if convicted of a war crime, Australian Federal Police said.
His arrest comes more than two years after an internal investigation showed that 39 civilians and prisoners had been "
" by Australian special forces.
The searches related to alleged war crimes between 2005 and 2016 in Afghanistan, police said.
According to public broadcaster ABC, the charges against the ex-soldier relate to the shooting death of a man in the central province of Uruzgan in 2012. He was due to appear in court in the state of New South Wales Monday.
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The investigations launched in 2020 had brought to light allegations of summary executions, competitions with a number of victims and cases of torture by Australian troops.
They had recommended to the police to open an investigation on 19 people.
These revelations were a turning point for the country, which holds its army in high esteem and has tried to suppress reports of these alleged wrongdoings.
The police had notably investigated journalists implicated in these disclosures.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, more than 26,000 Australian soldiers were sent to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Americans and their allies against the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other Islamist groups.