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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Australian common says US warns struggle crime allegations may stop work with Australia’s SAS

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CANBERRA, Australia — The U.S. authorities warned that allegations of struggle crimes in opposition to Australian troopers in Afghanistan may stop U.S. forces from working with Australia’s Particular Air Service Regiment, Australia’s protection pressure chief mentioned on Wednesday.

Gen. Angus Campbell informed a Senate committee that he acquired a letter from the U.S. protection attache in Canberra in March 2021 suggesting the elite SAS might have been “tainted” by the allegations of struggle crimes in Afghanistan raised in an Australian struggle crime investigation report that was made public in 2000.

Campbell mentioned “one particular person” had his “posted place adjusted” following the letter.

The letter warned that the Brereton report, which detailed “credible data” that Australian troopers had unlawfully killed 39 Afghan prisoners and civilians, may set off a U.S. legislation that forestalls the nation’s navy working with items linked to “gross violations of human rights.”

“I acquired a letter from the protection attache of the US Armed Forces based mostly in Canberra, to me, indicating that the discharge of the Brereton report and its findings might provoke Leahy Legislation concerns,” Campbell mentioned.

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Campbell mentioned he didn’t imagine he knowledgeable the protection minister on the time and had not knowledgeable the present protection minister, Richard Marles.

Campbell was quizzed by senators on why he had not suggested successive governments about such a letter from Australia’s most essential safety treaty accomplice.

Impartial Senator Jacqi Lambie requested whether or not the federal government ought to have been suggested of such a “fairly massive matter.”

Campbell replied: “I feel there’s a distinction between ‘might’ and ‘does.’ So the protection attache was indicating that it ‘might,’ somewhat than it ‘does.’”

“I don’t assume this was a problem suggested past” Campbell mentioned.

Marles’ workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Police in March charged the primary Australian veteran for an alleged killing in Afghanistan, three years after the Brereton investigation discovered that 19 Australian particular forces troopers may face expenses for unlawful conduct in the course of the battle.

Former SAS trooper Oliver Schulz, 41, was charged with the struggle crime of homicide within the dying of an Afghan who was shot in 2012 in a wheat discipline in Uruzgan province.

A Federal Courtroom decide will rule on Thursday in a defamation case introduced by Australia’s most embellished dwelling struggle veteran, Victoria Cross recipient and former SAS trooper Ben Roberts-Smith, in opposition to three Australian newspapers that he alleges depicted him as a legal who broke the ethical and authorized guidelines of navy engagement in Afghanistan.

Police are working with the Workplace of the Particular Investigator, an Australian investigation company established in 2021, to construct {cases} in opposition to elite SAS and Commando Regiment troops who served in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

Greater than 39,000 Australian navy personnel served in Afghanistan in the course of the 20 years till the 2021 withdrawal, and 41 have been killed there.

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