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Prosecutors headed to Afghanistan to interview witnesses in case of Green Beret who allegedly murdered Taliban bomb-maker
Prosecutors plan to argue that the man a former Special Forces soldier is accused of killing in February 2010 was a farmer, not a bomb-maker for the Taliban.
A military judge heard motions Monday in the case against Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who in June pleaded not guilty in the killing of an unarmed Afghan national named Rasoul. The trial is set for Dec. 2.
Golsteyn was a Green Beret captain with Fort Bragg's 3rd Special Forces Group. He contends the killing was justified under the wartime conditions in Afghanistan because the man was thought to be an insurgent who made a bomb that killed two Marines.
A prosecutor, Maj. Brent Goodwin, said Rasoul was a poor farmer with no connection to the Taliban. The man was uneducated and had no training in explosive devices, Goodwin said.
"Rasoul was not a bombmaker," Goodwin said.
Capt. Nina Hillner, a defense lawyer, said Rasoul's brother said Rasoul was a member of the Taliban.
Nearly a decade after he allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan civilian during a 2010 deployment, the case of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn is finally going to trial.
Former Army Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn will plead not guilty to a charge of murder for allegedly shooting an unarmed Afghan man whom a tribal leader had identified as a Taliban bomb maker, his attorney said.
Golsteyn will be arraigned on Thursday morning at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Phillip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.
No date has been set for his trial yet, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
Former Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who was charged with murder after admitting he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker, claims he "conducted an ambush" when he engaged the unarmed man.
"Over these years, what the Army – particularly this time, the United States Army Special Operations Command – seems to be intent on doing is characterizing an ambush as murder," Golsteyn told Fox & Friends' Pete Hegseth during a Sunday interview. "What Army special operators and regular Army, like infantry soldiers, have done over the last 15 years, those routine combat actions are now being characterized as murder."
After more than two years of legal limbo, the Army plans to charge Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn with murder over the alleged shooting of a suspected Taliban bomb-maker, who Golsteyn believed had killed two Marines, his attorney Philip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose.