Moscow expects UK probe into Afghanistan crimes find those responsible
The lead investigator into crimes committed by SAS in Afghanistan urges everyone with evidence of said crimes to bring them forward.
Moscow expects those responsible for atrocities committed by servicemembers of the British Special Air Service (SAS) in Afghanistan to be brought forward to justice, Russia's foreign ministry said on Friday.
The statement came commenting on an independent probe in the UK that was launched to look into crimes carried out by the country's soldiers in Afghanistan in the early 2010s.
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UK newspaper The Guardian reported on Monday that the lead investigator on SAS soldier's conduct in Afghanistan, Lord Justice Charles Haddon-Cave, requested that parties holding evidence of the troops' crimes in the Central Asian country come forward with their documentation.
"We expect to finally witness an impartial and transparent investigation with a concrete result — punishment for the soldiers involved in the crimes. Relatives of the dead and injured Afghans must receive justice," the ministry said in a statement, noting that the investigation could make use of a White Book published on its website that documents the murder of Afghani civilians by the US and its allies.
"It is worth noting that such crimes in Afghanistan have been committed, unfortunately, not only by representatives of the United Kingdom. Recently, in particular, another Australian serviceman was charged with killing a civilian in Afghanistan," the statement added.
On December 2022, the British Ministry of Defense announced a probe into allegations that its special forces had committed tens of extrajudicial killings in their raids in Afghanistan after a BBC investigation revealed vile details regarding the operatives' crimes in the country.
The ministry then said that it had launched an inquiry into the allegations and would "investigate and report on alleged unlawful activity by British Armed Forces" and "the adequacy of subsequent investigations into such allegations."
In July, the BBC released a Panorama documentary revealing disturbing evidence of SAS war crimes in Afghanistan. The revelations were vehemently denied by the UK Ministry of Defense, which claimed that allegations of unlawful conduct by commandos had previously been thoroughly investigated.
After the British defense ministry said that the investigation found no sufficient evidence to prosecute and the BBC "Insinuating otherwise is irresponsible, incorrect, and puts our brave Armed Forces personnel at risk both in the field and reputationally.”
Conversely, the BBC argued that Royal Military Police (RMP) investigators had been obstructed by military leadership.
General Mark Carleton-Smith, then-head of the UK Special Forces, failed to share evidence of misconduct with the investigation, as per the BBC.
During the 1839-1842 Anglo-Afghan war, the British empire was humiliated in Afghanistan, but following the Sept. 11 Al-Qaeda attacks, then-Prime Minister Tony Blair joined US President George W. Bush in invading Afghanistan under the guise of overthrowing the Taliban.