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Aussie mercenary faces death penalty

Posted by te2ataria on January 27, 2010

Sent be a reader in Sewage City [Wellington]

Former Aussie soldier turned mercenary faces death penalty in Afghanistan

A former Australian special forces soldier turned mercenary is facing execution in Afghanistan for the murder of a security guard.

Robert William Langdon, 38, murdered an Afghan security guard by shooting him four times in the head and body. After he was arrested in May 2009, he told the authorities it was the Taliban insurgents who killed the security guard, The Australian newspaper reported.

Langdon was employed by the US-based mercenary firm Four Horsemen [of the Apocalypse] International as a “security contractor.” The report said.

After murdering the victim, who was his colleague,  Langdon returned to Kabul, took US$10,000 from his bank account and bought a ticket to Dubai, but was arrested as he tried to board the flight. The Australian said.

Langdon claimed diminished responsibility at his trial, but his claims “were undermined by an admission that he had tried to cover up the crime by throwing a hand grenade into the truck containing Karim’s body.”

“Langdon’s family is trying to raise money to persuade the dead man’s family to formally ask the Supreme Court in Kabul to spare his life.”

Australian PM [and head of the Pacific Gendarmerie,] Kevin Rudd has reportedly vowed to intervene in the case and save the convicted mercenary from being executed, The Australian said.

“We as the government always intervene in support of any Australian citizen who has been convicted of a capital offence,” Mr Rudd told Perth radio, The Australian reported.

“(But) While that appeal is under way I don’t intend to get engaged in a rolling commentary on the content of the case.”

Mr Rudd refused to comment  on whether Australia’s [neocolonial] role in Afghanistan would add extra weight to any intervention to save the convicted murderer’s life.

“We need to adhere to Afghan due process. I don’t think it would be wise at this stage to predict the effectiveness of any particular intervention by me,” he said.

“Talking publicly about how much influence you have with the government in question may not help their case. I think it’s fair to say more generally that we have a good operating relationship with the government of Afghanistan.”

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