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Defence Response To Sixty Minutes '3RAR' Report

Department of Defence

Media Release

PACC 344/00 Sunday 19 November 2000

DEFENCE RESPONSE TO SIXTY MINUTES '3RAR' REPORT

Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Peter Leahy reiterated tonight that the allegations made on the Sixty Minutes programme are currently the focus of military justice proceedings.

"As such, Army is not at liberty to discuss the specifics of any of these matters. Investigations and disciplinary proceedings are underway and all those involved must be viewed as innocent until proven guilty. Both the victims and the accused deserve a fair go." General Leahy said.

"Army has and will continue to thoroughly investigate and act on any allegations, regardless of rank or position."

"All ranks, including officers, were interviewed during the Military Police investigation and no one is immune from prosecution."

General Leahy encouraged anyone with any allegations to come forth and emphasised that Army would provide its full support.

"All incidents and allegations of this nature are taken seriously. The most serious for the Army as an organisation is that such activity may have been condoned. Rough justice or unlawful punishment is not acceptable in the Army at any level."

"The Army and Defence is totally focussed on eliminating unacceptable behaviour of any type."

The Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Cosgrove will soon be announcing a range of initiatives designed to ensure that all ranks feel comfortable at their work and have confidence that their leaders will give them support when and where it is needed.

In addition, Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, has announced the establishment of a high level audit team, led by retiring Federal Court Judge, Justice James Burchett and the appointment of a Military Inspector General to ensure all personnel are treated fairly.

ENDS

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