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Afghanistan Inquiry – concerns over presumption of guilt

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The Chairmain of the National SAS Association is worried there is a presumption of guilt in the wake of the inquiry into war crime allegations.

The report recommends 19 former and current Australian special forces soldiers be investigated by Federal Police over the killing of 39 unarmed people in Afghanistan. The Defence Minister Linda Reynolds described the report as incredibly distressing, saying reading it made her “physically ill.”

Former Lieutenant Colonel Peter Fitzpatrick told Oliver Peterson there needs to be procedural fairness to take this forward.

“Nothing has been proved yet.

“Nothing has even been investigated to the point where charges can be laid.

“This could spin out for the next eight to ten years because we haven’t even formed the new investigative office to be appointed.”

Mr Fitzpatrick is positive about the future of the SAS, saying the culture has gone through “an enormous shift.”

“I don’t think we’ve got anything to fear about the future, but we have to deal with the past.”

Listen to the full interview:

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