General CourtS Martial relating to charges against Australian defence force members relating to the 12 February 2009 CIVILIAN CASUALTY Incident

A direc­tions hear­ing con­vened by the Reg­is­trar of Mil­i­tary Jus­tice in rela­tion to the charges against the third Aus­tralian Defence Force mem­ber relat­ing to an inci­dent in Afghanistan on 12 Feb­ru­ary, 2009 was con­duct­ed, by tele­phone, on 29 August 2011.

The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions applied for­mal­ly to with­draw the charges before the Judge Advo­cate.  The Judge Advo­cate ordered that the charge sheet be withdrawn. 

The legal process­es as a result of the charges brought by the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions in rela­tion to the 12 Feb­ru­ary 2009 civil­ian casu­al­ty inci­dent, involv­ing the three ADF mem­bers, have now concluded. 

Defence was com­mit­ted to ensur­ing a prop­er legal process was observed through­out this mat­ter so that the indi­vid­u­als charged received a fair tri­al and that the integri­ty of the mil­i­tary legal process was pre­served,” said the Chief of the Defence Force, Gen­er­al David Hurley. 

The legal process­es that were adhered to in rela­tion to this mat­ter were inde­pen­dent of the chain of command. 

The Aus­tralian Defence Force has a rep­u­ta­tion for being a high­ly dis­ci­plined and pro­fes­sion­al force. In order to main­tain this rep­u­ta­tion, it is impor­tant that all inci­dents lead­ing to a civil­ian casu­al­ty are inves­ti­gat­ed thor­ough­ly, com­pre­hen­sive­ly and transparently.” 


On 12 Feb­ru­ary 2009, mem­bers of the Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Task Group, con­duct­ed a com­pound clear­ance in Uruz­gan Province, Afghanistan. Trag­i­cal­ly, six Afghans died and four sus­tained injuries dur­ing the operation. 

The oper­a­tion was the sub­ject of an inves­ti­ga­tion which led to the Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions charg­ing three Aus­tralian Defence Force per­son­nel with alleged ser­vices offences. The Direc­tor of Mil­i­tary Pros­e­cu­tions sub­se­quent­ly referred these charges for tri­al by gen­er­al courts martial. 

Media Contact: 

Defence Media Oper­a­tions:  02 6127 1999 

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

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