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Australian commandos being probed for war crimes

Australian commandos being probed for war crimes

Jun 09, 2018 - 08:40

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Australian commandos are being investigated for allegedly committing war crimes in Afghanistaninfo-icon, says a news report.

“As Australians would expect, these allegations must be -- and are being -- thoroughly examined, independently from the chain of command,” the defence minister said.

Marise Payne told The Sydney Morning Herald the special operations soldiers operated in a complex, chaotic and dangerous environmentinfo-icon to defend their freedoms.

An inquiry by the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force had been underway since May 2016, she said, adding the allegations were being thoroughly probed.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also characterised the charges as “very serious” and said that the ADF was taking them as such.

Earlier, a confidential report revealed some Australian special forces troops committed war crimes during their longest deployment in the fight against terrorism.

The soldiers were accused of using unsanctioned and illegal application of violence during operations that involved disregard for human life and dignity.

“Some of these related to policy, process and governance failure -- like loss of weapons, unacceptable workplace healthinfo-icon and safety practices, poor audit results and wasteful practices in resource management,” the report claimed.

Abuse of drugs, alcohol and domestic were also alleged in the report, which spoke of a cover-up culture that protected people.

Former Special Operations Commander Maj. Gen. Jeff Sengelman commissioned the inquiry in 2016. It was carried out by a defence department consultant named Samantha Crompvoets.

The Australian soldiers were blamed for concealing the 2012 killing and cover-up of an Afghan boy named Khan. A commando reportedly killed an Afghan businessman and planted a weapon on his body.

PANinfo-icon Monitor/mud

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