SYDNEY: An Afghan soldier accused of shooting dead three Australian troops in an insider attack was captured in Pakistan and is expected to be tried for murder, officials said yesterday.
General David Hurley, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, said the Afghan National Army Sergeant, Hekmatullah, was arrested by Pakistan intelligence officials over the August 2012 shooting at a small patrol base in southern Uruzgan province.
“Overnight, he was deported to Afghanistan where he is expected to face trial for the murder of Lance Corporal Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate in an insider attack at Patrol Base Wahab in Afghanistan.”
Australia was notified of Hekmatullah’s capture in February and negotiations had been under way to arrange his transfer from Pakistan.
The Defence Ministry in Afghanistan and the Foreign Ministry in Pakistan, which handles deportations, declined to comment.
Hurley said Australian intelligence officials had worked with agencies in Pakistan and Afghanistan on detentions and deportations.
“We have been relentless and determined in our efforts to pursue those who have murdered and wounded our people,” he said.
“We will continue to cooperate with Afghan authorities as they prosecute the case for justice for these Australians.” Agencies