The Australian Director of Military Prosecutions has advised that a third member of the Australian Defence Force has been served with charges in relation to an incident that occurred on 12th February 2009 in Afghanistan.
The Director of Military Prosecutions is an independent prosecuting authority for the Australian Defence Force, who was appointed as a statutory office holder under the Defence Force Discipline Act 1982.
On 27th September 2010, the Director of Military Prosecutions announced that she had decided to charge three former members of the Special Operations Task Group with services offences arising out of the compound clearance operation conducted on 12th February 2009.
Two members were served with charges at that time, while a third member was travelling overseas in a personal capacity and could not be served until he returned to Australia.
On 26th November, the third member was served with charges. This person has been charged with manslaughter and, in the alternative, dangerous conduct with negligence as to consequence, and a further charge of dangerous conduct with negligence as to consequences.
The Australian Defence Force is ensuring that all three members are provided with the best possible support during the legal process.
Every possible support measure including legal, administrative, medical, psychological, chaplaincy and welfare assistance is being made available to these soldiers and their families.
The matters will be heard before one or more Service Tribunals which are not expected to be convened before early 2011.