Court mar­tial for sol­diers over deaths

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

THE com­mon­wealth is seek­ing wide sup­pres­sion or­ders at the up­com­ing court mar­tial of two Army Re­serve sol­diers charged with man­slaugh­ter in Afghanistan.

The court mar­tial, set down for July 11, re­lates to a Fe­bru­ary 12, 2009 in­ci­dent, when mem­bers of the Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Task Group, op­er­at­ing in Oruz­gan Prov­ince, un­der­took a com­pound clear­ance op­er­a­tion.

Six civil­ian fa­tal­i­ties re­sulted from the op­er­a­tion.

Yes­ter­day in Syd­ney, Judge Ad­vo­cate Bri­gadier Ian West­wood be­gan a hear­ing on pre-trial is­sues in­clud­ing in­terim ap­pli­ca­tions for non­pub­li­ca­tion or­ders.

The re­serve sol­diers, a lance cor­po­ral and a sergeant, have been charged with man­slaugh­ter.

In the al­ter­na­tive, they are charged with two counts of dan­ger­ous con­duct with neg­li­gence as to con­se­quence.

Lawyers want or­ders in­clud­ing pro­tect­ing the two men’s iden­ti­ties and the judge ad­vo­cate agreed to re­fer to them as the first and sec­ond de­fen­dants for now.

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