The adequacy of defence intelligence will be a likely focus for an inquest into the deaths of three Aussie diggers killed by a rogue Afghan soldier.
An inquest into the deaths of three Australians killed by a rogue Afghan army soldier is expected to focus on the defence department’s intelligence processes.
Queensland’s deputy coroner has held a pre-inquest conference in Brisbane over the 2012 deaths of Lance Corporal Stjepan Milosevic, Sapper James Martin and Private Robert Poate.
The soldiers were killed in a so-called green on blue attack, when an Afghan National Army sergeant opened fire with an automatic weapon in Afghanistan.
Two other diggers were wounded in the August attack, which occurred inside a patrol base 20km north of Tarin Kowt in Oruzgan province.
Counsel assisting the deputy coroner, Dr Anthony Marinac, said an Australian Defence Force report on the attack had been helpful, but noted the report had concluded there were no failings in intelligence process.
“We anticipate that this may be an issue for the inquest,” Dr Marinac said.
The soldiers who were killed had been part of a 24-man platoon sent to the Wahab patrol base to mentor and conduct patrols with Afghan National Army personnel.
Dr Marinac said at the time of the attack, on August 29, the Eid festival was being celebrated in Afghanistan, which coincided with a surge on insider attacks.
The conference also heard that the Afghan National Army sergeant allegedly responsible for the attack, named Hekmatullah, is appealing after he was sentenced to death.
Deputy Coroner John Lock offered condolences to the families of Lance Corporal Milosevic, Sapper Martin and Private Poate, who have requested the inquest.
Lance Corporal Milosevic’s widow, Private Poate’s father and Sapper Martin’s mother attended the conference.
Mr Lock said the inquest would likely be held in June or July and scheduled a second pre-inquest hearing for April 14.