News World Afghan soldier Hekmatullah, who killed three Australians, flown to Qatar ahead of peace talks with Taliban
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Afghan soldier Hekmatullah, who killed three Australians, flown to Qatar ahead of peace talks with Taliban

Hekmatullah murdered three Australian soldiers while serving as a sergeant in the Afghan National Army. Photo: ABC News
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An Afghan soldier who murdered three Australian soldiers has been flown to Qatar ahead of US-brokered peace talks with the Taliban.

The prisoner, known as Hekmatullah, has spent seven years in jail after killing Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate in August 2012.

The ABC has confirmed the former Afghan Army sergeant was on board a flight that took six prisoners to Doha.

A Taliban spokesman says all six prisoners are in “good health”.

The peace talks have been brokered by the US, which wants the Taliban to strike a deal with the government of Afghanistan in order to put a stop to further violence.

The federal government is yet to respond to the development, but in recent weeks Prime Minister Scott Morrison has raised concerns about Hekmatullah’s possible release with US President Donald Trump.

The Afghan Office of the National Security Council also told the ABC’s 7.30 program that Hekmatullah would not be released “without the consent of the Australian government and the victims’ families”.

-more to come