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Afghanistan Inquiry Findings Publicly Released

Afghanistan Inquiry Findings Publicly Released

The findings of an ADF inquiry into the combat death of Lance Corporal Jason Marks and a separate inquiry into claims of detainee mistreatment were released today.

The first inquiry sought to establish the facts surrounding the death of Lance Corporal Marks on 27 April 2008.

Vice Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General David Hurley, said Lance Corporal Marks was an extremely well-respected commando team leader who was serving with the 4RAR (Commando) component of the Special Operations Task Group.

“Lance Corporal Marks was killed conducting a combat operation in an extremely demanding environment.

“A thorough inquiry was undertaken into his death. The Inquiry Officer looked at equipment, training, the operational situation and available support on the day of the incident to ascertain if there was anything that could have been done to prevent Lance Corporal Marks’ death,” Lieutenant General Hurley said.

The Inquiry Officer was satisfied that no further formal inquiry was warranted and the Minister for Defence, in consultation with the Chief of Defence Force, agreed that a Chief of Defence Force Commission of Inquiry was not required.

The second inquiry was appointed to look into allegations of detainee mistreatment by Australian troops during an operation on 29-30 April 2008.

Lieutenant General Hurley said the ADF takes any allegations of detainee mistreatment very seriously.

The Inquiry Officer found that medical evidence and witness statements did not support an Afghan soldier’s claims that Australian soldiers mistreated detainees who were transported to a Forward Operating Base on 29 April 2008. The Inquiry Officer found that the allegations were most likely the result of cultural misunderstanding.

ENDS

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