Australian jailed for Afghanistan murder: Report

Robert William Langdon shot an Afghan colleague after a violent argument.

Sydney: A former Australian soldier has been jailed for 20 years in Afghanistan after murdering an Afghan colleague and then trying to pretend he was killed by the Taliban, a report said on Thursday.

Robert William Langdon shot the man after a violent argument while they were escorting a convoy to American military bases in 2009, The Australian newspaper said.

He then told colleagues to fire randomly in the air while he tossed a grenade into the vehicle where the victim`s body lay, in an attempt to pass the killing off as a militant attack.

Langdon was arrested later that day at Kabul airport as he tried to board a flight to Dubai.

The report, citing court documents, said the sentence was handed down in October, but that Langdon`s family was not aware of the term until contacted by the newspaper.

Langdon was initially sentenced to death and again on appeal, but then paid "sizeable" compensation to the victim`s family, the report said. Both men were working for US security firm Four Horsemen International.

"A 20-year sentence in (Kabul prison) Pol-e-Charkhi is really the equivalent of a death sentence," Langdon`s Australian lawyer Stephen Kenny told the newspaper.

"It`s not a prison that a person is likely to survive in for 20 years."

The report said Langdon, who served in East Timor and the Solomon Islands and is believed to be 39, was now relying on President Hamid Karzai for either a pardon or a reduced sentence.

Bureau Report

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