Australia looking to compensate Afghanistan war crime victims’ families

The Albanese government is looking to compensate families of victims of alleged Afghanistan war crimes, more than two years after a landmark inquiry found payments should be offered quickly to restore “Australia’s standing”.

can reveal the deputy prime minister, Richard Marles, has received a number of briefings from officials about compensation, one of the key outstanding recommendations of the Brereton report he is examining.

“Whilst there are a number of complexities associated with this, the government remains committed to implementing, to the extent that it can, the Brereton report,” a spokesperson for Marles said.

The four-year-long inquiry by Maj Gen Paul Brereton found “credible” information to implicate 25 current or former Australian special forces personnel in the alleged unlawful killing of 39 individuals and the cruel treatment of two others.

Criminal allegations are being considered by the office of the special investigator, but the inquiry also made a range of other recommendations, including cultural reforms to the Australian defence force and administrative action against individuals.

The Department of Defence originally set late last year as a deadline for deciding on a system for offering compensation, but this was missed by the former Morrison government and the issue had not been resolved by the time Labor won the election in May.