Subject: Australian veterans link Timor probe to Iraq

Australian veterans link Timor probe to Iraq

An three-year investigation into an Australian soldier who served in East Timor should be stopped because it could affect troops currently in Iraq, according to Australian Special Air Service veterans.

The SAS Association says two previous investigations had found the soldier had no case to answer.

The allegations focus on the death of two militia members, and whether the soldier kicked the body of one of them.

Association spokesman Bart Mavrick says the allegations are based on hearsay and on events that occured in the heat of battle.

Mr Mavrick says he is concerned the matter is a potential risk to the safety of Australian soldiers in Iraq.

"If these allegations that have been hanging round for so long were over my head and I was going into a conflict area [I] would be thinking I better be just a little bit careful what I do here," he said.

"I got to tell you that one moment's hesitation could cost you your life or one of your mates and I wouldn't want that hanging over my head," he said.

17/03/2003 21:57:37 | ABC Radio Australia News

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