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There is “credible information” that Australian special forces soldiers killed 39 civilians or prisoners in the Afghanistan war and a long-term investigation into possible war crimes recommends that the police launch criminal investigations into the actions of 19 soldiers. current or previous.

The “brutal truths” that the Prime Minister warned would come after the publication of a four-year military investigation into rumors of a toxic warrior culture in the Special Air Services Regiment.

Even the report drafted by New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Major General Paul Brereton is chilling reading as he delves into the heart of the darkness in Afghanistan, where patrol leaders ordered subordinates that they murdered the prisoners to “bleed them out.”

It says there is reliable information on 23 incidents in which “one or more” noncombatants or prisoners were killed “by or under the direction of the special operations task force in circumstances that, if accepted by a jury, ‘would be the crime. war of murder ‘. ” In two others, the investigation finds that “it would be the war crime of cruel treatment.”

Of the 36 cases that the investigation recommends referring to the AFP for its criminal investigation refer to “23 events that involve a total of 19 people.”

The investigation found that the soldiers attempted to cover up their crimes by using “projectiles”, usually pistols, ammunition, grenades or portable radios, which were placed over the bodies to claim that the victim was “an enemy killed in action.” Concealing deliberate unlawful killings.

And they had no doubt that what they were doing was wrong.

“None of these are incidents of questionable decisions made under pressure from the heat of battle,” the investigative report says. “The investigation did not find a single witness who claimed to be under misunderstanding about what was prohibited.”

The research finds that it would be a “huge distortion” to blame poor command and leadership. The decisions fall on the fact that “the criminal conduct of a few was initiated, committed, continued and concealed at the level of patrol commander, that is, corporal or sergeant.”

Their motivation was to “clear” the battlefield of people believed to be insurgents, regardless of the Armed Conflict Act, to bleed new members of the patrol and troop, and outnumber other patrols in the number of enemies killed in action accomplished.

In addition to recommending criminal proceedings, the investigation goes further and says that the Special Operations Task Force should have its Meritorious Unit Citation revoked.

He also recommends reviewing the distinguished service awards given to commanders who are at the center of “any substantial incident mentioned in the report.”

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