Two Special Air Service soldiers have appeared in court following allegations they were involved in a plot to attack a woman and cause her to have a miscarriage.
The West Australian police organised crime unit has been investigating allegations that one of the soldiers, whose girlfriend was pregnant, was involved in a plot to recruit a colleague and others to attack the woman and cause a miscarriage.
The two soldiers, whose identities are suppressed, are due back in Perth Magistrates Court this month, when more charges are expected to be laid against a number of people. The two soldiers were charged last Tuesday. – the day before Prime Minister John Howard visited Western Australia to see three unit citations presented to the regiment.
One of the soldiers was in Perth Magistrates Court yesterday morning on charges of possessing an unlicensed firearm, unlicensed ammunition and a silencer. He has also been charged with conspiring to commit an indictable offence, but that charge was not listed yesterday.
The soldier’s lawyer, Mark Andrews, asked for a suppression order on the grounds that his client had been in the SAS for eight years.
Mr Andrews said the SAS had a strict policy relating to anonymity of its members. “There is a very real security risk if he is named or has his image published,” he said.
Chief Magistrate Steven Heath granted the order, stating: “If he was acquitted, the impact of publication would be such as to render his employment non-viable.”
Later in the morning, another SAS soldier appeared on a charge of conspiring to commit an indictable offence. He was represented by lawyer Vesna Amidzic and remanded for a committal mention in September. Ms Amidzic did not initially apply for a suppression order but she returned to court later to seek the order. Mr Heath made the suppression order and remanded the case to June 29.