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Army General should be suspended

Max Bradford National Defence Spokesperson

2 October 2001

Army General should be suspended

The report into the shredding of army documents finding that Major General Dodson should continue in his job despite his 'unwise and inappropriate' conduct is of deep concern, National's Defence spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"It is quite unacceptable that such a senior officer continues in his job, where is still doubt over both the legality and the substance of what he ordered to be destroyed. These matters have yet to be adjudged by two separate inquiries.

"For perceived and actual integrity of the Army, Major General Dodson should be suspended from his position until the inquiries are completed. Had this happened to someone lower in the army chain they would almost certainly have faced a court martial. Integrity in the army has to start at the top, and be seen to be so.

"Despite Brigadier Gardiner's misgivings, the original document was shredded. Only later was a copy of the document discovered. This is an appalling situation.

"I call on the Government to release the full Inspector General's report into the public arena. The Star Chamber methods being adopted by the Government in this inquiry are not accepted by the opposition. "We reiterate our call for the inquiries to have a subpoena power and to be able to take evidence under oath. The Minister of Defence has yet to confirm if this will happen but is saying nothing as he often does. Anything less is unacceptable.

"Major General Dodson has called the shredding incident a 'storm in a teacup' and said its time to move on from it. This only further raises questions over his judgement at a time when there are severe questions over the action of a number of army staff officers over a number of years," Mr Bradford said.

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