Memo states Defence role in death of Iraq prisoner

Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 2012:

THE United States refused to accept that Australia was not responsible for a man captured by the SAS in early 2003 who later died en route to a secret and possibly illegal prison, according to a US report into his death.

The new allegation comes after claims by The Guardian that Australian and British special forces were an ”integral” part of a covert detention facility, codenamed H1, at a captured Iraqi air base deep in the country’s western desert.

The Herald has been unable to independently verify that claim. Yesterday the Defence Minister, Stephen Smith, and the foreign minister in 2003, Alexander Downer, denied the claim.

The information is in a classified US memorandum written by officers from the US’s Task Force Dagger running special forces operations in Iraq’s west using American, British and Australian troops.

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