Australia

‘Stupid people’: Senator Jim Molan on war crime accusations

Liberal Senator Jim Molan has opened up about being accused of war crime during his military service. The former major general, who served in Iraq, was accused in 2018 in the parliament by then Greens leader Richard Di Natale and MP Adam Bandt of committing war atrocities in the battle of Fallujah.Senator Molan’s comments come…

Liberal Senator Jim Molan has opened up about being accused of war crime during his military service.

The former major general, who served in Iraq, was accused in 2018 in the parliament by then Greens leader Richard Di Natale and MP Adam Bandt of committing war atrocities in the battle of Fallujah.

Senator Molan’s comments come as Australia braces for the findings of a probe to be released next week into the conduct of Australian Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.

Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith is among SAS soldiers to come under the microscope for his actions in Afghanistan but has denied any wrongdoing.

“It is often worse to be attacked by your reputation then it is to be physically attacked on a battle field,” Senator Molan told Sky News.

“As someone who has been consistently accused by stupid people of war crimes, I know how it feels.”

Senator Molan said 39,000 people served in Afghanistan over the period being investigated, and that he had great trust in Australian soldiers.

Senator Molan also backed Scott Morrison’s move to appoint a special investigator to prosecute allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan.

“Well-intentioned Australians say ‘anything goes on the battlefield’,” Senator Molan said.

“Sorry, no it does not.

“If you don’t observe the rule of law you will lose not just the battles but you will lose the moral high ground.”

Senator Molan, who has not seen the Afghanistan report, said he understood it did not consider one single action on any battlefield.

“These were actions that were conducted separately from battles,” he said.

Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell received the report earlier this month and is expected to speak publicly about the findings next week.

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