‘Innocent until proven guilty’: Katter on alleged war crimes

Mar 27, 2023

Katter’s Australian Party MP Bob Katter has condemned the treatment of a former SAS soldier recently accused of war crimes.

Mr Katter said he was not defending or speaking to the actions of the accused soldier, but believed the defence force’s leadership needed to wear some responsibility of actions committed under its command.

“War by definition is an atrocity. In spite of the ‘fairy floss’ leadership of the armed forces, which has allegedly banned the use of the term kill, every time a case comes up, it judges its own soldiers instead of standing up for them,” Mr Katter said.

“Well, all I can say is, I’ve never, ever heard a rugby league captain blame his team ever.”

Like any high-profile police investigation which receives media attention, Mr Katter said all respondents are “innocent until proven guilty,” but said it was “painful” to see the treatment of defence personnel.

“Senator Jacqui Lambie and retired special forces commander Heston Russell have been absolutely horrified at the way the army is ‘kangaroo courting’ its people.

“Every member of the 49th Battalion, my Battalion, remembers with great affection the men who would sacrifice themselves for their men every day of the week.

“These people are sacrificing the men for themselves every day of the week.

“Not to say that there isn’t some control that should be exercised, but war by definition is atrocity.

“If there are some crazy bees, that are out of control, well you’re the officer in charge.”