31 Jul 2020

Damning Operation Burnham report finds child likely killed

From Checkpoint, 5:07 pm on 31 July 2020

A damning report into Operation Burnham has found that a child was likely killed during the 2010 raid of an Afghan village, and that the Defence Force misled the public and Ministers.

The Attorney-General has released the findings of the inquiry, sparked by allegations made in the book Hit and Run.

It describes the Defence Force's response as "woeful", "inexcusable" and "unacceptable". It says that while the operation was professional and legal, and there was no organisational strategy to cover up, the Defence Force knew it may have killed or injured civilians.

However it continued to tell the public and its minister otherwise. The Chief of Defence says he is "deeply sorry", and says front-line troops were let down by their senior commanders.

Here's RNZ political reporter Yvette McCullough.