Subject: Aussie Oppn calls for independent military investigations

Wednesday October 1, 05:02 AM

Oppn calls for independent military investigations

The Federal Opposition says the army's handling of action against an SAS soldier shows the need for an independent investigator for cases of alleged military malpractice.

It says there is a lack of transparency in military investigations..

The criticism by Labor Defence spokesman Chris Evans comes after the army said it would drop administrative action against an SAS soldier accused of kicking the corpse of a militia member in East Timor in 1999.

The soldier was last month found not guilty of the charges after New Zealand Special Forces witnesses to the alleged act declined to appear at the hearing.

Senator Evans says four years is too long for an outcome like that.

"Those sorts of circumstances I think an independent investigation needs to be conducted, I don't think it's satisfactory for the army to investigate the army," Mr Evans said.

The army says its approach was consistent with the highest standards, but Senator Evans says soldiers careers have been seriously affected, and a better process is needed.

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