GRAPHIC: Aussie soldier filmed killing unarmed man
WARNING: Graphic content
Dramatic helmet camera video obtained by ABC-TV's Four Corners shows an Australian SAS soldier shooting dead an unarmed man in the head and chest at point-blank range in Afghanistan.
The ABC claims the soldier, who was captured cornering the Afghani man holding only prayer beads, could be charged with war crimes. The soldier says, "Shall I drop the c**t" before shooting him three times.
Four Corners obtained the video of a Special Air Service (SAS) patrol being dropped from a Black Hawk helicopter in May 2012 and fanning out near the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanzai.
Operating out of the Australian base in Tarin Kowt, around 400km southwest of the Afghani capital Kabul, the soldiers were looking for an insurgent bomb maker.
Within three minutes of arriving at the village, one of the soldiers has the Afghani man aged in his 20s subdued by an army dog in a wheat field and then shoots him.
A former SAS soldier deployed to Afghanistan in the same year described the killing captured on the video as a "straight-up execution", Four Corners reported.
The video, taken by the helmet camera of the handler of the dog named Quake, begins with the patrol disembarking from one of two Black Hawks.
The helicopters are guiding the ground patrol to a person who has been spotted in the wheat field ahead.
The patrol scout, who Four Corners calls "Soldier C", moves swiftly through a field towards a compound.
Quake's handler shouts commands at the dog as he and Soldier C zero in on the bearded man who is holding a set of red prayer beads.
As Soldier C points his assault rifle at very close range to the Afghani man on the ground, the handler shouts "Quake, leave!"
ABC-TV reported the man was cowering and had rolled onto his back with his legs drawn up to his chest.
In the video, the man is then perfectly still as Soldier C points his weapon between one and two metres from the man's head.
The man rolls onto his back, his legs drawn up. In his right hand is what appears to be a set of red prayer beads.
He is still, as the soldier keeps the weapon pointed at his head.
Soldier C then asks Quake's handler, "You want me to drop this c**t?"
"I don't know mate," the dog handler replies, telling the soldier to "hit … up" the patrol commander.
Soldier C then turns to the commander and asks., "You want me to drop this c**t?"
He then repeats the question, but on the video the commander's response is inaudible.
Soldier C then fires a shot into the Afghani and Quake bounds towards the man.
The dog's handler then commands Quake to again leave, and Soldier C can be heard firing two more rounds.
Four Corners reported the slain man was a married father of two, Dad Mohammed, and that after Afghani tribal elders lodged a complaint, the Australian Defence Force formally investigated the killing.
The ADF determined the shooting was lawful and in self-defence because the man posed a direct threat to the Australians.
An ongoing investigation will determine if "allegations" about possible war crimes had any substance, ABC-TV reported.