Leadership: February 25, 2003


A member of the Australian SAS (Special Air Service commandos) has been charged with misconduct during 1999 operations in East Timor against Indonesian militias (who were killing East Timorese who wanted to secede from Indonesia). The SAS was part of a UN peacekeeping operation. The Australian soldier, who has not been named, is charged with kicking the corpse of militiaman who had been killed in a firefight with the SAS. The soldier is currently on active duty elsewhere (Afghanistan or the Persian Gulf.) The situations is actually a bit more complex, with their being accusations that some of the militiamen were killed "illegally." East Timorese officials are pleading with the Australian government to drop the investigation because the SAS troops saved many East Timorese from the wrath of the militiamen. 


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