"A court martial got underway today accusing a Canadian soldier of murder for shooting a member of the Taliban on an Afghan battlefield. Captain Robert Semrau's case is believed to be a military and legal first.
Semrau, 38, is facing four charges for the 2008 death. He is accused of second-degree murder, attempted murder, behaving in a disgraceful manner, and negligently performing a military duty. It is alleged that he shot the man twice despite him being an unarmed and "seriously wounded" prisoner.
Court documents set a scene in which 36-year-old Semrau was in charge of a small group of soldiers caught in an ambush on October 19 last year. The Canadians were mentoring some new Afghan recruits, who were under British command. A United States Apache assault helicopter provided assistance to the group, who were in Lashkar Gah, Helmand, strafing the area.
After beating back their attackers the soldiers discovered a fighter with injuries deemed to be so severe that medical aid would be ineffective, along with a dead man. He was disarmed, his assault rifle having been captured. Shortly afterwards, with only Semrau near the man, two gunshots were heard. At least one eyewitness claims to have watched Semrau shooting the militant with his field rifle. Troops then moved on and the man's body was never recovered."
What kind of Pandora's Box does this open?