Defence whistleblower pleads guilty to leaking classified information

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David McBride, who helped expose allegations of war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, has pleaded guilty to leaking classified information.

McBride’s bail will be continued and he will be sentenced next year.

David McBride will be sentenced next year.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Originally facing five charges, the former military lawyer pleaded guilty to three offences, including stealing Commonwealth information and passing that on to journalists.

The classified documents led to a series of reports alleging Australian special forces troops committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

A later inquiry uncovered credible information of 23 incidents of potential war crimes, which involved the killing of 39 Afghans and cruel treatment of two more between 2005 and 2016.

The report found 25 soldiers were perpetrators or accessories – some on a single occasion and some on multiple.

More to come


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