An elite SAS soldier is under investigation for allegedly killing an unarmed, intellectually-disabled Afghan villager during a raid.
The shooting, which has been dubbed ‘the village idiot killing’ by those within the Australian special forces, happened in Afghanistan in 2012.
The SAS operative, known as Soldier C, is also under investigation by the Australian Federal Police for allegedly shooting another unarmed Afghan man at close range as he cowered in a field.
Soldier C was stood down after footage of the field shooting aired on ABC’s Four Corners in March.
The publication has now uncovered disturbing details about the newly uncovered shooting, which has been described as a war crime by witnesses.
‘You want me to drop this c**t?’ the soldier (pictured right) yelled at the dog handler
The victim, known as Ziauddin, a farmer in his early 20s from the Paryan Nawa region of Kandahar Province, was intellectually-disabled after being beaten by the Taliban two years ago, family member said.
When the raid happened, Ziauddin had tried to run home but as he limped away from the helicopter he was shot in the back of the head.
‘Choppers have landed, this guy’s ran. Fair enough. We were pretty intimidating. He was obviously intellectually disabled. [Soldier C’s] shot this f***er through the back of the head,’ an SAS soldier who witnessed the shooting told ABC.
‘And I remember it so clearly because his brain literally hit the ground before he did. It was just so unnecessary.’
Another patrol member recalled being confused seeing Soldier C raise his gun at the unarmed man.
He said thought he was using the gun to get a closer look at the man but he then let off two shots.
‘His head exploded. There was no need for what happened. No need whatsoever. In my book that was war crimes — murder.’
The soldiers allege there were attempts to cover up the shooting/
The helmet footage was taken from the moment a group of soldiers got out of a chopper in the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanza in Afghanistan in May, 2012
They claimed the man’s body was fitted chest rig containing assault rifle magazines so he can be identified as a combatant, and therefore the lethal force can be justified.
The patrol was allegedly told the dead man should be regarded as a ‘high-value target’, despite his fingerprints and irises not matching anyone on the special forces target list.
The killing is being investigated by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force.
Soldier C is also being investigated for shooting dead a seemingly unarmed and ‘docile’ Afghan man in 2012.
Disturbing footage showed the Australian soldier open fire on the man as he cowered in a field at the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanza in Afghanistan.
The confronting vision shows a group of soldiers following a German Shepherd named Quake as he guided them to the man, who was hiding in a wheat field.
Once the man was identified, the soldier in question pointed his M4 assault rifle at his head, from about two metres away.
‘You want me to drop this c**t?’ the soldier yelled at the dog handler.
The Afghan man cowered down holding what appeared to be red prayer beads.
‘I don’t know mate. Hit *** up,’ the handler replied, referring to the patrol commander nearby.
The soldier then directed his question at the commander.
‘You want me to drop this c***?’
He asked twice but the commander’s response isn’t distinguishable in the video.
The soldier then shot the man three times in the head and chest.
An ADF investigation ruled the shooting was self defence, but Braden Chapman, a former member of the same squadron, was shocked when he saw the footage.
‘It’s just a straight-up execution really,’ Mr Chapman, who did not witness the killing, told Four Corners.
‘He’s asked someone of a superior rank what he should do, but it comes down to the soldier pulling the trigger. It’s a straight-up execution.’
The SAS soldier seen in the footage claimed he opened fire in self defence, arguing the Afghan man had a radio which wasn’t visible in the footage and could have posed a threat.
He also told the ADF he pulled the trigger from 15 to 20 metres away.
There are more than 55 separate incidents of alleged breaches of the rules of war in Afghanistan by Australian special forces between 2005 and 2016.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Defence Force for comment.