Verdict reached in Semrau trial -

Verdict reached in Semrau trial

Decision expected at 2:00 p.m.


Capt. Robert Semrau, the Canadian soldier accused of mercy killing a badly wounded Taliban fighter, will hear his fate within the hour. The four-member military jury assigned to decide his case has reached a decision, and a Canadian Forces spokesman says the verdict will be read in court at 2:00 p.m. Witnesses say Semrau, a married father of two young daughters, fired a pair of bullets into the chest of a severely injured enemy fighter in Afghanistan in October 2008, and then told his comrades that he couldn’t live with himself if he let the man suffer. Semrau’s defence team did not submit any evidence at trial, other than to argue that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the captain committed murder. Semrau is charged with second-degree murder, and if convicted, the minimum sentence is life behind bars with no chance of parole for ten years.


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Verdict reached in Semrau trial

  1. Not guilty!

    • Agree…Should never have gone to trial !

    • Semrau cleared of murder charge. Thank God!

  2. Guilty, although the military will not find him so.

    • Let me guess, you protested the G20 to.

    • I would expect a comment like that from a terrorist sympathizer.

      • Just because he disagrees doesn't mean he's a sympathizer. That's a pretty extremist view from you citizen

      • citizen_CA….just wait until jade_lee and Oliver start resonding…..

  3. Not guilty.

  4. Innocent ! This was a mercy killing, not second degree murder as charged……

    • Unfortunately such a thing does not exist in our legal framework, unless you are a pet or some other non-human life form.
      Legally he killed a wounded enemy who posed no threat to him and that is something the military take very seriously. It is not a correct course of action to kill an unarmed enemy for reasons of expediency, mercy, to preserve supplies etc. We used this attitude to judge those who committed murder at Malmedy and death sentence's were given to the perpetrators there.
      I have no doubt that the Captain thought he was doing the right thing, but his actions were contrary to good order and discipline, were definitely not legally sound and were "disgraceful conduct" in the legal definition of those words.
      Saying anything else is handwaving.

  5. Innocent! He is there risking his life every day unlike everyone that complains from the safety of their homes or desks. If he is found guilty might as well start sending our troops with wooden rifles against the terrorists who wouldnt hesitate killing anyone wounded or not.

    • So true. Let the people who complain stand out infront of our troops. Then they can complain.

    • Isn't our biggest complaint about terrorists the fact that they "wouldnt [sic] hesitate killing anyone wounded or not"? Why is it ok for our guy to do it?

  6. Not guilty……. and he should be awarded the Medal of Military Valour for devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy.

    • Exactly right here. If anyone hasn't read the MacLeans article on this story, I strongly suggest doing so. Capt. Semrau followed the right course of action, knowing full well there was potential for recourse.

    • Agreed!!!

  7. NOT GUILTY!!!!

  8. just goes to show the changing nature of warfare and our views on it… we dont want troops there to begin with, so bring them home. as for this guy, totally innocent. not only for all the moral reasons (what he did was actually mercy) but also for the nonsubjective ones (the charge is incorrect, it isnt murder by definition, at worst manslaughter).

    Hope he enjoys full vindication, we trained him to follow battlefield tradition, its not right to charge him for it now.

  9. please find him innocent. He is a hero that didn't come home on the hiway
    like many of our other hero's. We weren't there so we can't pass judgement.
    These fine Canadians have seen things we never want our children to see
    or experience. Praying or you Capt Semrau !!

  10. If he is found guilty of 2nd degree, I am calling the Canadian Forces Recruiting center and having my application pulled

  11. I'm against the war, hate the conservatives and really really despise violence. But I hope he is found not guilty. A total show trial.

  12. Capt Semrau and his men should be given medals. PERIOD!

  13. What a shame! Not guilty! We train our troops and then we send them over there to fight for us. And then they come home to criminal charges? Not fair! What message are we sending by doing this?

    • This wouldn't be the first time. Remember the Rob Furlong incident. Our Country tried to court martial some of these guys due to bogus charges. Meanwhile, the US military awarded medals to the guys while our Country hung them out to dry.

  14. Semrau cleared of murder charge!

  15. What a disgrace to be found guilty of disgraceful conduct. He shouldve been aquited of all charges! What is this going to do to the rest of the troops, not only do they have to worry about staying safe and absurd rules of engagement when fighting against someone who doesn't even have the slightest respect for life, now they have to worry about coming back home after doing what they were trained to do just to get criminal charges filed against them and dishonorable discharges. You can't fight fire with water. what a bunch of bull.

    • Our military justice system isn't based on how it affects other soldiers. It is based on a set of laws and laws are very cold for good reason. That being said I'm happy he was found not guilty of second degree murder. I wonder if his men he was with purposefully confused the story to reduce the validity of their testimony. If they did, nice.

      The fact is he probably shot the dying man, which is technically murder (maybe manslaughter, I'm not a lawyer). In this case though it was absolutely the moral thing to do and I would do that for a dying enemy or best friend alike.

  16. May I suggest we all tip our hats to the members of the Jury for a job well done…Justice was served, as a proud Canadian….'' Salute !''

    • Disgraceful conduct of a Canadian soldier is nothing!!! to be proud of.

  17. Captain Semrau wasn't defending Afghans from their enemies that day. In light of his actions he wasn't even 'leading' the Afghans he was supposed to be mentoring. He may have ruined his military career, but there's a job waiting for him at Xe.

  18. Not guilty i guess..

  19. It seems most of you are forgetting that there was "with no dead body and no forensic evidence proving exactly how the man died."

    To those of you here who think that he should have been found guilty even though they couldn't prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt, I suppose that's why Judge and Jury in this country are not one and the same.