A former soldier accused of a wartime murder of an Afghan villager has had his bail conditions varied as he waits for the next stage in his case, while the National Security Act has been invoked.
Oliver Schulz, 41, was arrested in March and charged with one count of war crime – murder by the Australian Federal Police.
The AFP has alleged Mr Schulz murdered Dad Mohammad in a wheat field while deployed in Afghanistan with the Australian Defence Force.
He is alleged to have shot Mr Mohammed, a father and struggling farmer, in the Uruzgan Province in May, 2012.
Mr Schulz is the first Australian serviceman or veteran to be charged with a war crime under Australian law.
He did not appear at Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday, where his lawyer asked to have his bail conditions changed.
The court heard the rural NSW police station which Mr Schulz has been ordered to report to everyday is sometimes closed, as the opening hours vary, making it difficult for him to report.
His bail conditions were originally for him to report to police between the opening hours, but it has been changed for him to report between 8am and 9pm.
The court also heard the National Security Act has been invoked, which regulates the disclosure of national security information.
A representative from the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions told the court an “initial trench” of the brief of evidence is being prepared, which contains critical notice for the charge certification.
Mr Schulz was granted bail on March 28 by Magistrate Jennifer Atkinson after she found he was at risk of being targeted in prison.
Barrister Phillip Boulten SC argued his client was at a “grave risk” of being attacked in jail by Islamic extremists and inmates who were ideologically opposed to the war in Afghanistan.
Ms Atkinson said she took into account the risks posed to Mr Schulz inside jail, given fellow prisoners might be hostile to the ADF’s deployment in Afghanistan.
The allegations were first aired when Four Corners broadcast footage in March 2020 and the ex-soldier was suspended from the ADF.
Ms Atkinson agreed to release Mr Schulz on bail on strict conditions including that he hand over a $200,000 surety and not leave his home between 10pm and 5am.
He must also report to police daily, not communicate with any witness, hand over his passport and provide officers with access to his phone.
Mr Schulz also applied for a non-publication order that would prevent the media from naming him because of fears for his safety.
The matter will return to court in June.