ADF ‘aware of Abu Ghraib abuses’

The Defence Department has admitted how badly it handled the issue of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq after the abuse of prisoners was revealed.

Documents obtained by Fairfax newspapers reveal a secret June 2004 report in which senior officials concluded that the photos revealing the abuse leaked six weeks earlier “should have elicited a more rapid and complete response from Defence”.

The documents also show that even before the photos surfaced, several Australian officials had serious reservations about the way the US was running the Iraqi prison system and whether it complied with Australia’s understanding of the Geneva Conventions.

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