Denial of natural justice for Commodore Bruce Kafer

There have always been two victims of the April 2011 incident at the Australian Defence Force Academy. First, the female cadet wrongly filmed without her apparent consent during consexual sex with a fellow cadet. Second, the Academy's commandant wrongly scapegoated by the Minister for Defence at the time - and then subsequently denied an apology by the Minister - even after an independent inquiry by a QC had found the commandant acted appropriately in his handling of the incident.

 

Letter to The Australian 
Thursday, 15 August 2013
(published Friday, 16 August 2013)

Cameron Stewart (“ADFA Chief lashes out at Smith”, August 15, p.1) unfortunately risks perpetuating the public victimising of Commodore Bruce Kafer over the so-called “skype affair” at ADFA.

After being vindicated by an independent inquiry by a QC, Bruce Kafer is fully entitled legally and morally to seek redress on natural justice and common decency grounds.

Especially as Defence Minister Stephen Smith sat on the inquiry report for nearly a year to avoid personal and political embarrassment.

After being shamed into finally releasing it, Smith still refuses to apologise for his sustained scapegoating of Kafer.

Or for the other abuses of ministerial authority involved.

Kafer’s lawful and reasoned submission up through the defence force chain-of-command is not a public document.

To sensationalise it as somehow “lashing out”, and as “an explosive letter”,  may unfortunately lead those unfamiliar with the facts to again wrongly believe Kafer has acted improperly.

This remains the opposite of the case.

Moreover, despite consistent insult via selective political leaks, Kafer has always acted impeccably in not criticising his treatment by Smith publicly or privately.

It is shameful that Australia is shamed by Bruce Kafer has having to await the retirement of Stephen Smith to get the justice, decent treatment and apology he deserves as the second victim of the “skype affair”.

 

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