Greens MP Adam Bandt has offered a more comprehensive apology to Liberal senator Jim Molan after questioning the retired major-general’s military record in Iraq.
Mr Bandt suggested in a TV interview on Wednesday the senator may have committed war crimes during the battle for Fallujah.
Senator Molan, a retired major-general who served as the chief of operations of the US-led coalition forces in Iraq, threatened to pursue the Greens MP through the courts for defamation.
Mr Bandt offered a terse, six-word written apology that was seen by Molan’s camp as a veiled sneer that piled a fresh insult atop the original charge.
Senator Molan was not mollified and replied that he was keeping the defamation action “on the table”.
Mr Bandt issued a much longer and far more contrite statement on Friday.
“I wish to publicly say that I was wrong to make such accusations and inferences against Senator Molan,” he said.
“I sincerely apologise and express my regret to Senator Molan and to those who have served in Australia’s operational theatres and to their families and friends who were offended by my comments.
“I propose to make a donation to a veterans organisation as an expression of my sincerity over this issue.”