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Capt. Robert Semrau Charged With Murder in Afghanistan

darmil

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http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081231/inmsurgent_death_081231/20081231?hub=TopStories

under investigation

Updated Wed. Dec. 31 2008 12:06 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating whether proper procedures were followed surrounding the death of a "presumed" insurgent in Afghanistan.

At a news conference in Kandahar, Canadian military officials gave sparse details and took no questions about the investigation.

Master Warrant Officer Bernie Caron, Kandahar detachment commander for the NIS, said a probe has been launched into the death, which occurred on or around Oct. 19, 2008, in Helmand province.

He said the commander of Task Force Kandahar was notified of the allegations on Dec. 27, and quickly notified the NIS, which immediately launched an investigation.

"The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service is investigating the allegation to determine the facts, analyze the evidence and if warranted lay the appropriate charges," Caron said.

Acting commander of Task Force Afghanistan, Col. Jamie Cade, confimed he learned of the incident in late December, and quickly informed the NIS.

"The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service has launched an investigation into these allegations, and to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed," Cade said.

"The Canadian Forces takes such allegations very seriously. As an investigation is ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

The majority of Canadian troops are deployed in Kandahar province, while the British have largely taken the lead in Helmand.
 

Nfld Sapper

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Canadian military unit probes possible 'inappropriate conduct' in Afghanistan
Investigation centres on alleged insurgent who died in Helmand province
Last Updated: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | 2:09 PM ET CBC News


The investigative arm of the Canadian Forces is probing possible "inappropriate conduct" stemming from the death of a "presumed insurgent" in Afghanistan's Helmand province, military officials said Wednesday.

Col. Jamie Cade, acting commander of Task Force Afghanistan, said the task force was made aware of the allegations on Dec. 27 and notified the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), which immediately initiated an investigation.

"The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service has launched an investigation into these allegations, and to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed," Cade said during a brief news conference in Kandahar.

He said the alleged insurgent died "on or about" Oct. 19 in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

The investigation service will "determine the facts, analyze the evidence and if warranted, lay the appropriate charges," Cade said.

"As the investigation is ongoing, no further details will be released at this time."

The CFNIS is an independent military police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to national defence, property, departmental employees and Canadian Forces personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

Canada has about 2,500 soldiers in Afghanistan, mostly based in the south around Kandahar. Neighbouring Helmand province is largely patrolled by British troops.

Canadian troops were involved in an operation in Helmand in the days before Oct. 19, guiding the Afghan National Army in a battle against Taliban militants who had launched a three-pronged attack on the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah. British troops were also involved.

Afghan Gen. Sher Muhammad Zazai has said Canadians were involved in fighting in Helmand on Oct. 16. The battle, which also involved air strikes, ended Oct. 18. Afghan and NATO officials said at the time that at least 100 Taliban were killed in the fighting.

It's not immediately clear if those incidents and the one under investigation are related.

With files from the Canadian Press
 

Nfld Sapper

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News Release
CFNIS Investigation Started
CFNIS 2008-08 - December 31, 2008


OTTAWA – The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) has launched an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct relating to the death of a presumed insurgent in Helmand Province on or about October 19, 2008.

The Commander Task Force Kandahar was made aware of the allegations on December 27, 2008 and notified the CFNIS who immediately initiated an investigation. The CFNIS is investigating the allegations to determine the facts, analyze the evidence and if warranted, lay the appropriate charges. As the investigation is ongoing, no further details will be released at this time.

The CFNIS is an independent Military Police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, Departmental employees and Canadian Forces personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

- 30 -

For more information about the CFNIS, go to http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2824

 

The Bread Guy

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Can't recall 'inappropriate conduct' during Taliban fight: Afghan general
Steve Rennie, Canadian Press, 1 Jan 09
Article link

An Afghan army general who was on hand for October's bloody battle of Lashkar Gah said Thursday he has heard none of the allegations of "inappropriate conduct" surrounding the death of a presumed Taliban insurgent.

Afghan National Army troops killed so many Taliban fighters during the defence of Helmand province's capital city two months ago, it's impossible to say how they all died, Gen. Sher Muhammad Zazai said in an interview.

Afghan and NATO officials claimed at least 100 Taliban died in the three days of fighting, in which insurgents mounted a three-pronged attack on the city that ended Oct. 18.

"I don't know of any inappropriate way that Taliban were killed," Zazai said through an interpreter.

"So many were killed, I don't remember the exact way they were (all) killed."

The major crimes unit of Canada's military police is investigating a death that took place "on or about" Oct. 19 in Helmand - the day after the Lashkar Gah seige came to an end.

The deputy commander of NATO forces in Kandahar province, Col. Jamie Cade, said he learned Dec. 27 of the allegations. Few details have been released.

Cade said the military probe announced Wednesday will seek "to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed" in the death of a "presumed" Taliban insurgent ....

More on link
 

Bass ackwards

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I remember when the first report came out about US Marines in Haditha, Iraq, killing civilians.
The very next day, Sun Media newspapers had a cartoon of GWB in a small boat saying everything was going well, while in the background was a huge storm cloud labelled "Haditha".
And the storm did break.

Since then, most, if not all of the Marines involved, have been cleared of any wrongdoing. That fact was reported in the Marine Corps Times and picked up and distributed by conservative bloggers. No major news network reported that, and long after the fact, I recall hearing someone on CBC referring to "massacres like My Lai and Haditha".
"Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth."

I don't know where these latest storm clouds are headed but I have enough faith in our wonderful unbiased media to believe that they would love nothing better than to see an end to all this nauseating (to them) support for the troops and the opportunity for them to go back to the glory days of vilifying the army while ignoring any good works going on, or real news (like the Medak pocket fight).

Just my .02 
 

McG

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Capt. Robert Semrau was charged with one count of second-degree murder on Thursday, military officials said Friday in a news release. Semrau is accused of shooting a man with the intent to kill.

Lets try and keep speculation on this to a minimum & allow the information to gradually present itself.
 

wannabe SF member

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By god the lack of info is frustrating!
CBC has failed to even provide us with any details of how or what happened except for the fact that an insurgent was killed in the "wrong" manner. How is that even possible?
 

McG

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The incongruous said:
CBC has failed to even provide us with any details of how or what happened except for the fact that an insurgent was killed in the "wrong" manner.
Perhaps, because of on-going investigations or OPSEC or other reasons, that is the only information released by the CF.
 

geo

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I have every respect for our troops currently in theatre.
Every investigation into Afghanistan based events conducted over the last 7 years (2002-2008) has only come up with conclusions that our Canadian troops have behaves in a professional manner.... no mater the wild allegations and inuendoes published by mainstream media.

Even Taliban captives have been forthcoming to declare that they have not been mistreated while in our hands.

Col Cade indicates that the investigation is being carried out "to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed" in the death of a "presumed" Taliban insurgent.
- I am slightly puzzled by the wording of that statement .... but then, that's partly why CFNIS is involved.....

Let's sit back, relax, get back to doing our jobs (block leave is just about over) AND wait out on this one.
 

geo

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The incongruous said:
By god the lack of info is frustrating!
CBC has failed to even provide us with any details of how or what happened except for the fact that an insurgent was killed in the "wrong" manner. How is that even possible?

Ummm....
to determine whether proper reporting procedures were followed" in the death of a "presumed" Taliban insurgent

NOT killed in wrong manner (whatever that is supposed to mean...... they're talking about inproper reporting procedures.... that's it, that's all....
:tsktsk:
Do me a favour - read & read again
 

dapaterson

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See http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=2840 for the CFNIS press release on this issue.

Captain Robert Semrau was charged with one count of second-degree murder, contrary to Section 130 of the National Defence Act, pursuant to Section 235(1) of the Criminal Code. Captain Semrau was a member of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team at the time of the incident. He is accused of shooting, with intent to kill, an unarmed male person. Captain Semrau is currently in Military Police custody and will be transported back to Canada shortly for a hearing before a military judge to determine whether he is to be retained in custody.
 

geo

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He is accused of shooting, with intent to kill, an unarmed male person.

Thanks for the link DAP

The only thing I think should be pointed out is that, our troops shoot to warn & shoot to kill individuals who drive vehicles AND fail to heed warnings not to come any closer... (new incident in today's news).  Our terms of engagement are quite clear & no one has ever proven that we stray away from the rules that have been set.

A person who fails to heed a warning to stop OR keep away - even if he appears to be unarmed - could just as easily have an IED strapped to his body OR a grenade OR a pistol concealed on his person.

The circumstances surrounding this incident will come out in due course - let's not encourage idle public speculation on inproper behavior.
 

Redeye

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The frothing at the mouth comments are nothing new on the CBC.  The same sorts of things happened when MCpl Fraser was charged in the death of MCpl Fraser.  People screamed that he should not have been charged purely because he was a soldier who went to Afghanistan etc etc, and there's much of the same there.  CFNIS has a job to do, an investigation has been initiated, and I'm sure that if there was enough to refer a charge then there was something to the incident.  I'm sure the circumstances of the incident will come to light at the appropriate time and if any malfeasance occurred it will be handled appropriately.  I don't understand why people start jumping up and down when they have nowhere near enough information to form a real opinion.
 

zipperhead_cop

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Redeye said:
I don't understand why people start jumping up and down when they have nowhere near enough information to form a real opinion.

Because people tend to suck and want to be the first to be outraged?  Who knows.
If it is any consolation to anyone, we don't have any more info here than any of you do.  Trust that the embed reporters will get things out lightning quick as they get info and our leadership will be forthcoming with as many details as possible. 
 

KingKikapu

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Redeye said:
I don't understand why people start jumping up and down when they have nowhere near enough information to form a real opinion.

Heh, that one is easy to answer; it's because they've got the crazies.
 
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