Australia — 12 February 2009 incident in Afghanistan — update

On 12 Feb­ru­ary 2009 the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group deployed to Afghanistan as part of Oper­a­tion SLIPPER under­took a com­pound clear­ance oper­a­tion in Uruz­gan Province.

The oper­a­tion was the sub­ject of an inves­ti­ga­tion by the Aus­tralian Defence Force Inves­tiga­tive Ser­vice, which was sub­se­quent­ly referred to the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions for con­sid­er­a­tion.

The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions is the inde­pen­dent pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al author­i­ty for the Aus­tralian Defence Force.

The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions is a statu­to­ry appoint­ment, designed to oper­ate out­side the Chain of Com­mand in order to remove any sug­ges­tion of bias or com­mand influ­ence from the pros­e­cu­tion process.

On Mon­day 19 July, the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions invit­ed the Chain of Com­mand to make rep­re­sen­ta­tions regard­ing the inter­ests of the Aus­tralian Defence Force in accor­dance with sec­tion 5A of the Defence Force Dis­ci­pline Act 1982.

This process allows the Chain of Com­mand to rep­re­sent mat­ters to be con­sid­ered by the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions that relate to the main­te­nance and enforce­ment of Ser­vice dis­ci­pline.

It must be stressed that the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions is con­tin­u­ing her con­sid­er­a­tion of this mat­ter and has not yet made a final deci­sion regard­ing poten­tial dis­ci­pli­nary action.

Defence will announce the out­come of the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions’ con­sid­er­a­tion of the mat­ter when finalised. Media con­tacts:

Defence Media Liai­son: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia