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Former special forces soldier blasts government over war crimes report

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Former special forces soldier blasts government over war crimes report

A special forces veteran has spoken out against the federal government’s handling of the Afghanistan war crimes report.

Former special forces commander Heston Russell said he has been informed behind close doors of disciplinary and administrative action against soldiers who are speaking out.

“I have lost trust in the Chief of Defence Force and the Chief of Army,” he said.

“Those who stand accused now have to be afforded the presumption of innocence before they are tried in the legal process.

“In the meantime, there are 3000 veterans and their families, including the families of 20 fallen, who are having to relive their deployments, relive the loss of their loved ones, and relive those heat of the moment battle situations.”

The former special forces soldier accused leaders of contributing to the veteran suicide crisis.

“It has led us to a current crisis in the mental health of our veteran community, where in the last month 11 veterans have committed suicide.”

He was supported by Senator Jacqui Lambie who is calling for a royal commission.

“Why is it that these guys are prepared to put their lives on the line, but we’re not good enough to hold a royal commission in this country,” she said.

“We’ve got some real problems with our leadership in the military, this is part of the reason these suicides are happening.

Click play to hear more. 

(Photo: Sam Mooy/ Getty Images)

Liam Bartlett
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