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Canadian captain acquitted in war killing

GATINEAU, Quebec, July 19 (UPI) -- A Canadian army captain was found guilty of disgraceful conduct Monday but cleared of second-degree murder for killing a wounded Afghan fighter.

Capt. Robert Semrau, 36, faces up to five years in prison when he returns to court in Gatineau, Quebec, Tuesday for the penalty phase of his court-martial, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

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The military panel deliberated three days before returning its verdict against Semrau, who fired his rifle twice into a dying Taliban fighter in Afghanistan's Helmand province in October 2008.

Semrau didn't testify in his own behalf, but an Afghan army captain, who was on the patrol with the Canadian, testified the Taliban insurgent was "98 percent dead" when found.

Besides the murder count, Semrau also was found not guilty of attempting to commit murder using a firearm and negligently performing a military duty imposed on him.

The married father of two is now stationed at CFB Petawawa.

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