legal

Oliver Schulz: ex-SAS soldier accused of war crimes presents no ‘heightened risk’ to police, judge says


An ex-SAS soldier facing war crime allegations has been handed relaxed bail conditions after a magistrate ruled he presented no extra risk to officers conducting checks on him.

Oliver Jordan Schulz, 42, was granted permission to fly to Perth to visit his lawyers after a bail variation hearing at Sydney’s Downing Centre local court on Friday.

Schulz’s new bail conditions also allow him to travel from his current location in rural New South Wales to Sydney for medical reasons.

Stipulations of Schulz’s travel to Perth include that he is gone no longer than six days and remains subject to a curfew and requirement to report to Perth police station once a day.

The magistrate, Brett Shields, said Schulz remained a person of good character in the eyes of the law, subject to the outcome of the case.

He noted there might be “considerable time” before the proceedings were able to be brought to trial and in the meantime Schulz was entitled to the presumption of innocence.

During a bail-variation hearing on Monday, a court was told Schulz posed a higher-than-normal risk to police officers conducting checks on him.

The crown prosecutor, Sean Flood, said at the time the former SAS soldier’s background as a “highly trained former military officer” meant he was in a better position to engage in “hand-to-hand combat”.

Shields noted Schulz had “very, very significant skills and training” as an elite member of the Australian defence force.

But he said that training and skills of that nature alone should not be the basis for any heightened concern.

“There is no material before this court upon which I can conclude on any basis that [he] presents a heightened risk to those who must deal with him,” Shields said.

Schulz is accused of approaching 25- or 26-year-old Dad Mohammad in a wheat field in Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province in 2012 and firing three shots at the man while he was on his back with his hands and knees raised.

Mohammad’s father later complained to the Australian defence force, alleging his son had been shot in the head.

Schulz was arrested in March 2023 and released on bail a week later after a magistrate found he faced a high risk from Taliban attack if he remained behind bars.

He was the first former or serving defence force member to be charged with a war crime-related murder, investigators said in March.

Schulz’s case is due to return to court on 20 February.



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