Australia — Military Prosecutions on February 12, 2009 Afghanistan incident

Defence com­ment on update by Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions on Feb­ru­ary 12, 2009 inci­dent
The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions has advised that a third ADF mem­ber has today been served with charges in rela­tion to an inci­dent that occurred on 12 Feb­ru­ary 2009 in Afghanistan.
The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions is an inde­pen­dent pros­e­cu­to­r­i­al author­i­ty for the Aus­tralian Defence Force, who was appoint­ed as a statu­to­ry office hold­er under the Defence Force Dis­ci­pline Act 1982.

On 27 Sep­tem­ber 2010, the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions announced that she had decid­ed to charge three for­mer mem­bers of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group with ser­vices offences aris­ing out of the com­pound clear­ance oper­a­tion con­duct­ed on 12 Feb­ru­ary 2009. 

Two mem­bers were served with charges at that time, while a third mem­ber was trav­el­ling over­seas in a per­son­al capac­i­ty and could not be served until he returned to Australia. 

On 26 Novem­ber, the third mem­ber was served with charges. This per­son has been charged with manslaugh­ter and, in the alter­na­tive, dan­ger­ous con­duct with neg­li­gence as to con­se­quence, and a fur­ther charge of dan­ger­ous con­duct with neg­li­gence as to consequences. 

The Aus­tralian Defence Force is ensur­ing that all three mem­bers are pro­vid­ed with the best pos­si­ble sup­port dur­ing the legal process. 

Every pos­si­ble sup­port mea­sure includ­ing legal, admin­is­tra­tive, med­ical, psy­cho­log­i­cal, chap­lain­cy and wel­fare assis­tance is being made avail­able to these sol­diers and their families. 

The mat­ters will be heard before one or more Ser­vice Tri­bunals which are not expect­ed to be con­vened before ear­ly 2011. 

Defence will not engage in com­men­tary about the mer­its of the case to avoid prej­u­dic­ing the legal process that is underway. 

Media con­tact: Defence media Liai­son 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664 

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

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