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  1. #1
    loob lor geezer
    Bangyai's Avatar
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    Calls for judicial inquiry into execution of 'Breaker' Morant

    Calls for judicial inquiry into execution of 'Breaker' Morant

    Immortalised by Edward Woodward on the silver screen, the fate of 'Breaker' Morant and his two cohorts is widely known - sentenced to death by firing squad by the British military.


    Harry Breaker Morant, Australian soldier executed during the Boer War

    By Bonnie Malkin, Sydney
    6:00AM BST 30 Jul 2011

    Now descendants of the executed Boer War soldier and his co-accused have added their voices to growing calls for a judicial inquiry in Australia into the trial of the men 109 years ago.
    For several years campaigners have been calling for an independent review into the convictions of Harry Morant and fellow soldiers Peter Handcock and George Witton.

    The men were convicted in 1902 of shooting 12 Boer prisoners of war. They claimed that they were following orders from British officials, a claim that Britain denies.

    Morant and Handcock were sentenced to death by firing squad, becoming the only Australians in history to be executed for war crimes.
    Witton had his sentence commuted to life in prison but was released after three years. But evidence that the convictions were unsafe has been growing.

    Last year, the British government rejected pleas to grant the trio a posthumous royal pardon, forcing campaigners to turn their attention to systems of redress under Australian law.
    Several descendants of the men have recently sent letters to Robert McClelland, the Australian Attorney General, demanding that he open an independent inquiry into the convictions.
    In one letter, Beverly Little said the execution of her great-grandfather Peter Handcock had caused her family great hardship.
    “My family and I and our future generations would very much like closure, as the history of our family will always be marred by this wrongful sentencing and execution,” she wrote.
    “It is and will always remain a significant loss and injustice to our family”.
    James Unkles, a military lawyer, is coordinating the campaign. He claims to have evidence that will prove the men were denied a fair trial under the military law of the time.
    He also claims to have proof, including a British parliamentary transcript, that Lord Kitchener instructed his soldiers in South Africa to take no prisoners.
    His dossier of evidence has been reviewed by barrister David Denton SC, who also believes that serious errors of law mean their convictions were not legally sound.
    Mr Unkles said the British government had tried to make the case go away because it was “embarrassed” by the string of legal errors and cover-ups.
    “There was a miscarriage of justice, it doesn’t matter if it was 109 years ago or one year ago, what makes us a civilised society is our ability to right our wrongs. Three Australians have gone down in history as rapists and murderers when we have compelling evidence that they were not.”
    Mr Unkles said he was hopeful that the Attorney General would agree to open a judicial inquiry in Australia but if he did not then the next step would be an appeal in the British High Court against the original court martial.
    The colourful and tragic story of Breaker Morant has captured the imagination of generations of Australians and Britons and in 1980 was made into a film of that name starring the late Woodward.
    Morant was born in Somerset in 1864 and moved to Australia when he was 19, finding fame as a horse-breaker, drover and poet in the 1890s.
    He earned a reputation as a charming scoundrel, but also a heavy drinker and a womaniser.
    When war broke out in South Africa he volunteered to fight with the English against the Boers.
    His execution by firing squad remains one of the most controversial chapters in Australia’s military history.
    His famous last words were: “Shoot straight, you bastards!”

    Calls for judicial inquiry into execution of 'Breaker' Morant - Telegraph


  2. #2
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    Khun Custard's Avatar
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    Simple... NOT GUILTY... Royal Pardon granted

    At least the American public stood up for the Mylie pawns
    Guess the Australian public back in 1902 were not even aware of the case.

    Very interesting doco on Australian network last night about the whole Mylie issue

  3. #3
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    shoot straight you bastards

  4. #4
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    harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Have they really not got anything better to waste money on?

    FFS

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    Last year, the British government rejected pleas to grant the trio a posthumous royal pardon, forcing campaigners to turn their attention to systems of redress under Australian law.
    They should sue the British government for any asset they have left after Gordon Brown done his deed.
    Is a BA plane worth anything?

  6. #6
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    Look the aussies are by now mature enough to undertake their own judicial enquiries on such matters, and sub-peona any documents from uk or persons, as necesssary.

    They dont need to ask permission from poncy whoever in uk, if the convictions are not safe, do the right thing.

  7. #7
    Elite Mumbler
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    After what the Brits did to the Aussies in Galipoli, that story is most likely the truth.

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