News World Defence chief considers action against officers

Defence chief considers action against officers

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The Defence Force chief has been given the names of eight serving officers accused of sexually abusing cadets in the 1990s.

The Defence Abuse Response Taskforce, being led by retired judge Len Roberts-Smith, is investigating more than 2000 complaints of abuse dating back to the 1950s.

Late last year, it completed its assessment of the so-called “ADFA 24” which involved allegations of rape at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) in the 1990s.

The taskforce found some of the officers accused of carrying out the abuse are still serving.

The ABC has been told eight names have now been referred to the Defence Chief, General David Hurley, who is considering what action can be taken against them.

General Hurley said he was appalled by the abuse allegations and was determined to have all complaints investigated.

“I’m close to the end of that process where I will start to take safe legal action,” General Hurley said.

“The one thing I don’t want to do here is act in relation to an ADFA-related incident and not have it successful.”

It is unclear whether the cases have also been referred to police.