David McBride pleaded guilty to 3 of his 5 charges after cutting a deal with the prosecutors to end his trial. David McBride didn’t have much choice but to plead guilty given the federal government’s failure to protect whistleblowers and the court whittled away his defence over the last few days.
David McBride’s lawyer has said there is a possibility of an appeal in the below video even though he has pleaded guilty.
Nine reported (17/11/23):
Originally facing five charges, the former military lawyer pleaded guilty to three offences, including stealing Commonwealth information and passing that on to journalists.
The classified documents led to a series of reports alleging Australian special forces troops committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
A later inquiry uncovered credible information of 23 incidents of potential war crimes, which involved the killing of 39 Afghans and cruel treatment of two more between 2005 and 2016.
The report found 25 soldiers were perpetrators or accessories – some on a single occasion and some on multiple. (Click here to read more)
The can be no doubt that David McBride is a war crimes whistleblower and there can be no doubt that the Anthony Albanese federal government, and the government before, have failed to protect him.
David McBride’s lawyers Xenophon Davis posted on Twitter (17/11/23):
A bitter and shocking day for us as the court allowed the government to remove evidence from the courtroom and the defence – despite having a completely secret forum to present it in. This together with the narrow rulings on McBride’s ‘duty’ to follow orders left little option but for pleas to be entered.
Thank you to David’s supporters and those who funded his case. Thanks to the tireless work of his lawyers, Stephen Odgers SC, Emmanuel Kerkyasharian, Paul d’Assumpcao, Mark Davis, Natalija Nikolic, and Jack Vaughan. Also, thanks to Bret Walker SC for his advice and counsel last year.
David is likely to be sentenced next year. It has been an honour to act for him. (Click here to see on Twitter)
Below is video of David McBride and his lawyer Mark Davis after pleading guilty. Mr Davis explains the reasons behind the decision and at the end he says they are investigating an option to appeal even though he pleaded guilty.
The full details of the deal to plead guilty are unknown at this point but David McBride’s agreement with prosecutors might also be in relation to sentencing because it has been reported that the court “ordered an intensive corrections order assessment with plans for a sentencing hearing in the new year”.
Although ordering an intensive corrections order assessment is fairly common. On the ACT Government’s website it says:
Intensive Corrections Order (ICO)
An ICO is a custodial sentence of up to four years that is served in the community. An assessment for suitability is conducted by a Community Corrections Officer who considers the offender’s willingness and ability to comply with the requirements of the order, and undertakes a home visit assessment. Offenders must reside in the ACT to be eligible for an ICO.
Offenders with an ICO may have to undergo regular drug testing and home visits, and will need to apply for permission to leave the ACT. Conditions relating to community service work, curfews, attendance at rehabilitation programs, or reparation, may also be included in an ICO. (Click here to read more)
If David McBride is jailed, will it have an impact on the next federal election?
David McBride’s sentencing hearing will be sometime next year, and the next federal election is due in 2025. If David McBride is jailed, I have no doubt there will a “Free David McBride” movement across the country right up to the next federal election which would humiliate Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the federal Labor government.
David McBride’s battle is far from over but already he has played a huge part in exposing the lie that Anthony Albanese and the Labor Party protect whistleblowers better than Scott Morrison and the Coalition did. When it comes to protecting whistleblowers, Anthony Albanese is just as deceptive, deceitful and dishonest as Scott Morrison.
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