The Australian Defence Force Chief has said he has no concerns about any possible rouge elements within the nation’s special forces unit.
A sweeping inquiry is currently being conducted into the Australian special forces by the Inspector-General of the Defence Force, with rumours of possible breaches of the Geneva convention on military conduct.
The 2 year long probe has revealed several concerns regarding the conduct of Australia’s elite troops while serving in Afghanistan, including many incidents of allegedly unlawful killings. The report investigating claims of illegal activity committed by Australian commandos and SAS (special air service) troops in Afghanistan is scheduled to be released towards the end of the year.
Mark Binskin, the Australian Defence Force Chief, has insisted that he has absolutely no concerns about the SAS when he was asked about potential rouge elements. He said that he trusted the special forces “100 per cent”.
While supporting the SAS, Air Chief Marshall Binskin confirmed that a threatening letter had been delivered to a member of the SAS regarding their appearance before the inquiry. He went on to say that it was “absolutely disgusting” that someone had tried to “threaten a witness” as well as try to “influence the inquiry”.
He also said that it was “a criminal act” and that it was going to be “handled appropriately”. The federal police have been asked by ADF to investigate the threatening letter.
Minister for Defence, Marise Payne, confirmed that the letter in question was received by the witness and was then referred to the federal police.
While the letter had indeed been mailed to the witness, their name and the names of other witness have not been revealed and all hearings have been conducted behind closed doors.
Liberal backbencher and former SAS member Andre Hastie said that the threat was “deeply concerning”. He went on to say that he would seek out assurances from the Defence Minister that the probe would receive all the resources it would need to continue without hindrance.