The trials may take years before the eventual punishments are handed out
The Australian Chief of the Army said that 13 members of the Australian Defense Force may be sacked from service due to possible Afghanistan war crimes. The soldiers are accused of killing 39 prisoners and civilians in Afghanistan. There are 23 separate incidents that did not take place in the heat of the moment, as per Australian military sources. Australia maintains a 400 strong contingent in Afghanistan.
Lieutenant General Rick Burr said the 13 soldiers had 14 days to respond to “administrative action notices” proposing to terminate their service. However, none of the servicemen have been relieved from duty at this point in time. “At this point in time no individuals have been separated from the Australian Defense Force,” he said.
As per media sources, the 13 are suspected to have been “accessories” or “witnesses” to alleged murders carried out by other special forces soldiers. The Brereton inquiry focused on events between 2005 and 2016 and interviewed 423 witnesses.
The eventual outcome of the inquiry can take a long time. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that a special investigator will be appointed. The legal process can take years before an outcome of the trials is had. Some of the evidence from the investigation will not be admissible in civilian courts.