Monday, April 20, 2015
Polish misconduct downrange?
Jurist has a report: In a recent ruling, a Warsaw military court acquitted four Polish soldiers of war crimes over the killing of six civilians in Afghanistan in 2007. The soldiers were nonetheless found guilty of the lesser offense of failing to carry out a military order. This group of soldiers was part of 28,000 Polish military personnel who took part in the international mission in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2014. This article will explore the soldiers' original charges of war crimes and will analyze whether their alleged actions constituted war crimes under international humanitarian law. It should be noted that the soldiers were originally charged with violations of various provisions of the Polish Criminal Code, including crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Because these provisions of Polish law reference international law, the below analysis of the soldiers' liability under international humanitarian law is both relevant and appropriate.