The move followed the release of a report by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force last week which said 19 special forces soldiers should be referred to Federal Police for possible prosecution for war crimes, including murder, for the death of 39 Afghan prisoners or civilians.
In what was labelled a “disgraceful and profound betrayal” of professional standards, the report squarely laid the blame on a clique of non-commissioned officers. The publicly released report did not name soldiers.
Mr Morrison said while the actions against the individuals was a matter for the ADF, he expected the Army’s leadership to also be held accountable, not just those serving on the front line.
“Weve tried to set up the most robust, transparent and good governance processes to see how we can deal with this issue the best we can,” he said.
“It’s important that not only is there accountability in the defence forces for individual alleged acts, but also in the chain of command about those who had responsibilities and accountabilities in that chain of command.
“That’s what I expect to be done. That’s what I’ve made very clear through the Defence Minister, who has made that point to both the Chief of the Defence Force as well as the oversight panel.”

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