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Australian sentenced to death in Afghanistan

[ 2010-01-28 13:09]     字号 [] [] []  
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An Australian security contractor has been sentenced to death in Afghanistan for fatally shooting an Afghan colleague and trying to blame the slaying on the Taliban.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Canberra would try to prevent the former Australian soldier from being executed - an act that could raise tensions between Afghanistan and its largest non-NATO contributor of international security forces.

Australia strongly opposes the death penalty and regularly lobbies governments to commute the sentences of Australians convicted abroad of capital crimes.

Australian Robert William Langdon, 38, was convicted of murder and sentenced to death last October in a court in Kabul. The Australian newspaper reported that Langdon was working for a private US-based security firm and had admitted killing the Afghan guard last May during a heated argument about security for a convoy.

The newspaper said the convoy was ambushed by suspected Taliban in Wardak province south of Kabul but escaped to the provincial capital, where the two men argued about whether to continue.

Langdon told the court he shot the Afghan guard in self-defense as he reached for his pistol. The court also heard that Langdon threw a hand grenade into the truck carrying the guard's body and ordered other guards to fire into the air to simulate a Taliban attack, it said.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Australian sentenced to death in Afghanistan

About the broadcaster:

Australian sentenced to death in Afghanistan

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.