Posts Tagged Kimberly Motley

Legal News: Robert Langdon Is Pardoned!

When I heard the news about Robert Langdon being pardoned and released, I was floored. I originally wrote about Robert back when he was imprisoned, and I was trying to get some attention on his case. I mean this guy was sentenced to death at one point, and it is truly remarkable that not only has he survived that system but has been pardoned and released. What a horrible ordeal and I am just glad that he is home with his family.

I also wanted to highlight the outstanding work that Kimberley Motley and Stephen Kenny (the family lawyer) have put into this case. Kimberley is actually licensed to practice law in Afghanistan and has been fighting that pathetic legal system for quite awhile to free contractors that have been wrongly imprisoned. (Bill Shaw and Philip Young are two such examples) I have written about her good work in the past and I think one day, we will see a movie made about her. Truly a legal rock star.

As to Robert Langdon’s story, probably what jumped out at me was the hardships and survival strategies he had to employ as a prisoner at Pul-e-Charkhi prison. Here is a quote from one of the stories below.

In prison, Mr Langdon was under constant threat of violence and was regularly attacked. During his final months in jail, he used a padlock to lock himself in a stinking cell. He had a smuggled mobile phone and a knife he had fashioned from a piece of steel.

I don’t know if he had SERE training in the military, but it sounds like if he had, it would have been very helpful in surviving this prison. Especially being the only expat and especially when some of his cellmates were Al Qaeda and Taliban. Amazing that he survived. –Matt


Robert Langdon Free

Lawyer Kimberly Motley signs release papers for Robert Langdon, who spent more than seven years in Kabul’s maximum-security prison. Picture: Jessica Donati, The Wall Street Journal


Robert Langdon: Last Western prisoner held in Afghanistan pardoned, flown home to Australia
By Michael Edwards
9 Aug 2016
A former Australian soldier has been released from an Afghan jail after serving seven years for murder.
Robert Langdon initially received a death sentence in 2009 but always maintained his innocence, claiming he killed in self-defence.
His family, after spending years campaigning for his freedom, received the news this week that a presidential pardon had been granted and he was on his way home.
“He certainly has been released and the family, of course, are very very pleased about that,” family lawyer Stephen Kenny said.
Mr Langdon was initially convicted for shooting Afghan colleague Karimullah, when a dispute arose while they were escorting a convoy to an American military base in mid-2009.
He was found guilty of killing the man, and then trying to blame the murder on a Taliban ambush.
The Australian was also accused of setting fire to the dead man’s body and trying to flee the country.
Mr Langdon was sentenced to death but later had his sentence reduced to a 20-year jail term after his family reportedly paid the family of the dead man a substantial sum of money in compensation.

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Legal News: GardaWorld’s Daniel Ménard Thrown In Afghan Jail

This is an interesting one that just popped up on my radar. I found it yesterday and posted it on Facebook, and I received multiple viewpoints on what is going on. Everything from it is all GardaWorld’s fault and Ménard is incompetent, to Gardaworld and Ménard is yet another victim of the Afghan legal system and corrupt officials.

For this deal, I was instantly reminded by the readership, as well as personally recalling all of Afghanistan’s past legal shenanigans.  Doug mentioned the Bill Shaw story where he was thrown in an Afghan jail on false bribery charges. Trevor mentioned the other GardaWorld story of some contractors that got arrested because they had 30 AK’s on them. Funny that, contractors with guns in a war zone? Of course this story was related to the APPF scheme of seizing the weapons of companies–without paying those companies for said weapons.

Another story mentioned was the arrest of Michael Hearn of Global Strategies Group for not registering their weapons. Those weapons according to the company, were parts guns that were not serviceable, used to repair other AKs.  I am sure there are other incidents that I am forgetting, but you get the idea. Kimberly Motley could probably add something to this conversation because of her extensive dealings with the Afghan legal system.

Some other stories of contractors wrongly thrown in Afghan jails include guys like Phillip Young, who thanks to Kimberly’s work, was set free. Another guy I have written about in the past was Robert Langdon, whom is still rotting away in prison.

The other interesting point on this story is Ménard’s  background. Michael Yon was highly critical of this leader back when he was a general in the Canadian Arm Forces posted in Afghanistan.  But even Michael’s current tone is one of being skeptical as to why he is in an Afghan jail.

I imagine the way this will work out is that he will stay in prison until the company or his family pays the fine. Hopefully he doesn’t stay in prison as long as Bill Shaw. Bill spent two years at Pul-e-Charkhi prison and was fined £16,185! Kimberly was also hot on this case and was instrumental in getting him released. –Matt

Edit: 02/19/2014- Daniel was released from detention. Story here.




Former Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard, the former head of Canadian forces in Afghanistan who now works for private security firm GardaWorld, was detained there since about Jan. 12.
By Allan Woods
Jan 29 2014
Former Canadian brigadier-general Daniel Ménard, who was fined and demoted for having a sexual relationship with a female subordinate, has been sitting in an Afghan jail for nearly three weeks, the Toronto Star has learned.
The former head of Canadian forces in the country, who now works for private security firm GardaWorld, was detained on or about Jan. 12. He was picked up by local authorities after leaving a meeting with Afghan government officials to discuss issues related to the development of Afghan security forces, Joe Gavaghan, a spokesman for the company, said in an interview Wednesday.
“He was leaving a meeting at the ministry office and a couple of officials approached him. They said, ‘We’ve got a problem with something and we’d like you to come with us to clear it up.’ Off he went and the next thing he knew he was going to be detained until they cleared it up.”
Ménard has not been charged with breaking any laws, Gavaghan said, adding the incident is based on an “administrative misunderstanding” related to its licence to operate in Afghanistan as a private security firm.
Gavaghan said the former commander of the 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, based out of CFB Valcartier, appeared in a Kabul court Wednesday.
“This involves some kind of administrative issue with our operating licence. It was kind of a technicality. It’s been cleared up and we believe that the individual is going to be released very shortly,” Gavaghan said.
“Right now we’re just trying to do everything we can to make sure there’s no further complications or anything that would delay that.”

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Industry Talk: Afghanistan Seizes Millions Of Dollars Worth Of Armored Vehicles And Weapons From Private Security Firms

Kimberley Motley, an American lawyer in Kabul who advises security firms, said company executives were taken aback by the crackdown. They had opened their books to the government as a good-faith gesture, she said, in hopes that they could remain involved in the security industry as risk-mitigation consultants under the APPF model.
“A lot of companies are being penalized for trying to transparently run their security companies,” Motley said. The bulk of the equipment being seized, she said, was imported during years when there were “limited laws that dictated how they should operate.”

This government in Afghanistan is something else. First they ask the companies to see their books, and the companies comply in good faith, and then the government says ‘hey, let’s seize their valuable equipment’ listed in that book. Not a thought or care about any prior arrangements or contracts that allowed those companies to have that stuff in the first place. No compensation for that equipment, and just out-right take it for their own use. Boy, that is the kind of thing that will attract investors and business…….pffft.

The other thing that gets me about this whole deal is that part of what makes the private industry so effective, is the ability of the principal to just fire a poor company. If one security firm does not perform, then the principal goes with the next best company. The only thing the government should be involved with, is making sure everyone plays nice and that they deal specifically with the bad ‘agents’ or companies that ruin it for everyone else. That is how the free market is supposed to work.

With this arrangement, none of these NGO’s or companies investing in Afghanistan will have that option to ‘fire’ their protective detail.  And because Afghanistan is so corrupt anyways, all of these companies and groups thoroughly expect to not only get a poor service, but to be extorted and ripped off in the process. They have no choice in the matter, and to be honest, I do not blame them for making the decision to not do business in Afghanistan under those circumstances.

Hell, this whole deal of the government seizing property from these private companies should be a loud message to all. “Come to Afghanistan and get ripped off.” lol That should be their motto, and plaster it all over their flag or something. –Matt


Afghanistan cracks down on contractors
By Ernesto Londoño
December 2011
Afghan officials have seized millions of dollars worth of armored vehicles and weapons from private security firms in recent weeks, a move that has exacerbated concerns about the government’s plan to replace the hired guns that protect convoys and installations with an unprepared state-run guard force.
The crackdown is being carried out even though the Afghan Public Protection Force failed to meet any of the six benchmarks that were set out for it when President Hamid Karzai formally announced a plan to ban private security firms by March 20. An assessment team led by the NATO military coalition, which is heavily involved in the creation of the Afghan force, concluded in the fall that the guard force is far from ready to take over.
Diplomats, development experts and company executives worry that the abolition of private security contractors within three months could endanger Afghans and foreigners supporting NATO and its allies, halt reconstruction projects and open new channels for corruption.

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Afghanistan: Global Strategies Group Employee Jailed By Afghans Amid Crackdown

     Tim Matthews, a spokesman for the company, said the case stemmed from an inspection of Global’s main Kabul armory a few months ago. Afghan authorities found 11 weapons that were not on the list of firearms registered with the Afghan government, he said. Matthews said the additional weapons were unserviceable guns sent from personnel outside Kabul, to be used for spare parts. He said all weapons were acquired legally and were kept safe at all times.


    Great, another contractor sent to jail in Afghanistan. I certainly hope the company will fight to get Michael Hearn out of jail as soon as possible, and not allow him to get sucked into a corrupt and pathetic prison system.

    I also find it really discouraging that contractors are being hassled and imprisoned, and yet hundreds of Taliban are released from detention so they can go back to the battlefield and kill more troops. Crazy Karzai strikes again.

    The other part of this story that needs mentioning is our friend Kimberly Motley is all over this one. I posted a deal on her legal work in regards to contractors out there that are currently suffering in Afghan prisons, and I am sure she will be doing all she can to work with authorities on this one.  Hopefully Global’s lawyers and local fixers are working hard to settle this stuff, and they should not be afraid to draw upon Kim’s help for this one. –Matt

British private security company employee jailed by Afghans amid crackdown

By Ernesto LondoñoThursday, December 9, 2010

Afghan authorities this week arrested a British private security company employee and sentenced him to eight months in jail, the latest move in the government’s crackdown on private security firms.

Global Strategies Group consultant Michael Hearn was arrested Wednesday for allegedly failing to register weapons with the government.

The move comes amid uncertainty about how aggressively and quickly the Afghan government intends to disband the vast network of private security companies that flourished in the country as security worsened in recent years.

A day before the arrest and prosecution, Afghan officials announced they would take a more lenient approach to expelling the groups, an acknowledgment that the country’s security forces are not yet up to the task of protecting diplomatic installations and other sensitive sites.

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Legal News: A Beauty Queen Takes Kabul

“I get threats of being raped,” she says. “If I was a man, I’d get more death threats, I suppose. But I get those as well.”

Her criticism of what she describes as a corrupt judicial system has brought the ire of the Afghan government, and heightened her security risk. The Afghan District Attorney’s office has threatened to arrest her next time she sets foot in Kabul.


Shaw, now recuperating with his family in Spain, credits his release “to Kimberly and her dogged determination to succeed.”

Motley has developed her own approach to operating in the Afghan courts. During a trial, she never wears a veil or a dress. “I need to look like a man as much as possible,” says the 35-year-old beauty, who has a South Korean mother and an American father.  “I find that men hear me more when I don’t wear a headscarf. I wore it at first, and when I took it off, I found men were more respectful.”


    This is awesome and I want to thank Kimberly personally for all the courageous work she has done in Kabul.  She is on the front lines of trying to free all those unfortunate souls that have become victims of a corrupt legal system in Afghanistan. Folks like Bill Shaw were released thanks to the work of Kimberly. It looks like she is also working on the Robert Langdon and Philip Young cases.

    Kimberly also wins big points for doing what she is doing in a war zone and Islamic society.  She has taken on this corrupt legal system with full vigor, and has received death threats along the way.  You know she is doing well when the government and the Taliban both despise her. lol For that, bravo to you Mrs. Motely!

     Also, I have yet to find her website, a link to her office in Kabul, or anything. So if anyone has that kind of information, I would like to edit this post to show that. –Matt


Kimberly Motley–Motley works for the release of foreigners languishing in Afghan jails. (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Motley)

A Beauty Queen Takes Kabul

by Elise Jordan

September 17, 2010

Kimberly Motley is now one of the most respected lawyers in Kabul, who works to release foreigners languishing in Afghan jails. Elise Jordan meets the former Mrs. Wisconsin.

Kimberly Motley isn’t your typical international lawyer.

A former beauty queen, wife, and mother of three, she grew up in the projects, earned a law degree and worked as a public defender before moving to Afghanistan to become one of the most respected foreign lawyers in Kabul.

Motley works for the release of foreigners languishing in Afghan jails, and often her work starts after the verdict—as in the case of an Australian on death row, convicted of murdering an Afghan colleague; a South African sentenced to fifteen years in prison on drug charges, and a Brit convicted of fraud.

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