Australian police have opened an investigation into allegations of war crimes committed by Australian military personnel in Afghanistan, officials said. A spokesman for the Australian Federal Police (AFP) said they had received a “referral” concerning the war crimes allegations in June and has “accepted the matters for investigation”.
“As this investigation is ongoing, the AFP will not confirm or deny the specific incidents or the identity of those subject to the investigation,” the spokesman said. The spokesman would not provide additional details or say who referred the allegations to the police.
Three other inquiries have already been launched into reports of abuses by special forces who served in Afghanistan as part of a US-led coalition between 2001 and 2014. That includes one investigation being conducted by the inspector general of the Australian Defence Force since 2016.
A separate classified defence department investigation leaked to the press in June quoted testimony from special forces insiders saying some troops engaged in the “unsanctioned and illegal application of violence on operations” in Afghanistan with “a disregard for human dignity”. Government officials confirmed at the time that investigations were under way concerning Australian troop conduct in Afghanistan, but would not provide any details.