Australia Opposes Release of Afghan Prisoner who Killed Three of its Soldiers

Australia opposes the release of an Afghan soldier, jailed for killing three of its military personnel in 2012, as part of a prisoner transfer deal to help usher in peace talks in the war-torn country, Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Friday.

As per Reuters report, six prisoners sought by the Taliban left Kabul on a flight to Doha on Thursday evening, two government sources told Reuters, with the Taliban confirming it would attend long-awaited peace talks.

Payne said one of the six was Hekmatullah, a former Afghan army sergeant who killed three Australian solders in 2012. She said Canberra did not support the prisoner transfer.
“Hekmatullah should serve a full custodial sentence for the crimes for which he was convicted by an Afghan court, and he should not be released as part of a prisoner amnesty,” Payne said in an emailed statement.

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