Dutch soldier says he had no choice but to kill torturer on secret Afghanistan mission

Decorated Dutch soldier Marco Kroon says that he had no choice but to kill a man while on a secret mission in Afghanistan in 2017. He was previously captured and tortured by the man he eventually killed, he said in an interview with newspaper AD. "It was him or me."

Kroon was previously captured by the man and was tortured for information, he said to the newspaper. According to him, he did not reveal anything. After he was released for unknown reasons, he went looking for the man because Kroon wanted to prevent the man endangering the mission.

"I wanted to capture him, but saw him grabbing his weapon. Flashes of his brutal acts during my imprisonment all came up again in one blow. I grabbed my weapon in a reflex and fired my entire magazine on the man's body. The man was dead. I wanted to know who he was and what he knew about me. What I found was shocking", Kroon said. He would not or could not say more, because the mission was classified and saying certain things is punishable.

The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into this incident in January, after Kroon reported it to Defense last year. Kroon is very clear about why he waited so long to report the incident. "As a sworn officer, you are expected to think at several levels higher. At the time it was my opinion as a commander that if I reported the incident, the continued existence of the operation would be jeopardized because it would possibly be shut down for investigation, which would give the enemy more time to come closer", he said to the newspaper.

The Public Prosecutor refused to comment on Kroon's statements. "We are waiting for the outcome of our investigation", a spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service in Arnhem said to the Telegraaf. She could not say whether these statements will form part of the investigation. "In our investigation we include everything that is necessary."