Australian Prime Minister Vows to Probe Alleged War Crimes in Afghanistan Over Bombshell Report

Asia & Pacific

The Australian Defence Force’s Inspector-General recently handed over his final report on the conduct of Australian forces in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016 to the government, and has reportedly uncovered evidence of widespread criminal activity against civilians and prisoners by Special Forces troops.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that he will be appointing a special investigator to probe and prosecute any alleged criminal misconduct by Australian troops in Afghanistan.

“There were a significant number of incidents and issues to look into, and the investigation would be inherently complex,” Morrison said, speaking to reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

The prime minister said the special investigator would investigate allegations made in the Inspector General’s report, “gather evidence and, where appropriate, refer briefs to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for consideration.”

Morrison did not name the individual to be tasked with running the probe, but promised it would be an “eminent person” with experience in international law. The special investigator’s office is expected to be set up sometime next year, and to operate “for an indeterminate amount of time” to address the allegations raised.

Morrison also emphasized the need to avoid generalizing the “disturbing conduct” said to have been found in the report to the military as a…

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