In 2008, Australian Robert Langdon was employed in
Afghanistan by a private security company to provide security guarding services for food and supply convoys, and medical relief expeditions.
A Tragic Incident
In June 2009, Robert Langdon was sent to assist a convoy which had been attacked. He became involved in an incident
with a fellow Afghan security contractor. A heated argument resulted and the tragic death of the Afghan security colleague.
Sentencing and Court Proceedings
Robert was arrested and charged with murder. He was
brought before an Afghan court that on the 27 October 2009, sentenced him to death by execution. The court later commuted the sentence to twenty years.
The head of
the Afghanistan Attorney-General's Punishment Department, Namatullah Hafizi, said the
revised sentence was befitting the crime, given the victim's family had
approved ibra. Under Islamic law, there is a requirement that compensation be paid
to the family. Robert Langdon’s family in South Australia were able to raise
sufficient funds to make a significant contribution to the family.
These funds were handed over to the deceased Afghan officer's family in what is called the ‘Ibra
hearing’ in early June, 2010. Robert Langdon's case was referred back to the
Supreme Court of Afghanistan for further consideration.
Robert Langdon is serving a 20 year sentence in a Kabul prison for this crime. He and his family are praying that the Afghan authorities will oneday repatriate him to an Australian facility where he can be closer to family. Robert Langdon has limited Consular access.
How you can Help
All enquiries about this case should be directed to Mr. Stephen
Kenny, an Adelaide Lawyer and Director of Camatta Lempens. Click here
International Transfer of Prisoners Act 1997 Read more here
Benefits of the International Transfer of Prisoners Scheme
The scheme aims to:
- improve prisoners' prospects for rehabilitation by removing
language and cultural barriers, allowing access to custodial programs
and facilitating contact with family and social support networks
- promote reintegration into society by allowing prisoners to be
released on supervised parole - in the absence of transfer, foreign
nationals are usually removed under migration laws immediately upon
release from prison, without receiving the benefit of any parole
supervision or reintegration into the community
- protect the community through the effective management and monitoring of prisoners transferred back to Australia
- allow prisoners' convictions to be recorded by the relevant authorities in their home country
- meet public expectations that the Australian Government will enable
Australians imprisoned overseas to apply to return home to serve out
- meet the expectations of foreign governments that their citizens
will be able to apply to transfer home to serve out their sentence
- reduce the costs of providing consular services to Australians
imprisoned overseas and reduce the cost to Australian state and
territory governments of housing foreign prisoners.
Afghanistan is yet to sign on to the Agreement but that is not to say that Government to Government negotiations cannot make an independent bi-lateral agreement.