06 April 2011

Defence Minister questioned by Sky News regarding Academy incident

Yesterday, Australian Defence Minister Stephen Smith, was interviewed by Sky News' David Speers regarding allegations of an incident in which a male cadet filmed having sex with an 18 year old female cadet live via a web cam on Skype which was then viewed by his mates. The transcript of that interview can be found here.

Earlier this week the female cadet went public with her allegations because she feared that Defence officials at the Australian Defence Force Academy would not take the allegations seriously. Both the Australian Federal Police and the Defence Force Investigative Service have now undertaken an investigation. Yesterday I posted on this, which can be found here.

"But there is one very concerning new aspect, which I need to bring to public attention immediately. [Yesterday] at 11 o'clock the young woman concerned was subject to a hearing under the Defence disciplinary proceedings. This related to events in March, which were suggestions or allegations of being absent without leave and drinking. And a scheduled hearing, which was set some time ago, was held [yesterday] morning. I very strongly believe that the holding of such a hearing [yesterday] in the aftermath of these events is not only inappropriate, insensitive and wrong, it's almost certainly faulty in law," Smith said in the interview.

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