Lambie meets with PM over defence claims

AAP
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High level defence cover-up: Lambie

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has accused Defence top brass and politicians of abuse cover ups.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie has met with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to discuss the case of two men she believes have been victims of a defence force cover-up.

In a blistering attack, made under parliamentary privilege, Senator Lambie called for David Morrison to resign as Australian of the Year over his involvement in the cases of SAS trooper Evan Donaldson and former army officer Marcus Saltmarsh.

She told the Senate on Wednesday Mr Turnbull had agreed to support a general mediation process for the men.

"I can only hope that happens extremely quickly."

She's also released a copy of a letter requesting a meeting with Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin, to take official statements from the men.

Senator Lambie, a former non-commissioned army officer, claimed the cover-up of Mr Saltmarsh's case had been at a very high level, "spectacular and absolutely deliberate".

Both he and Trooper Donaldson had been the "subject of extraordinary abuse of office by senior members of the Australian Army".

Mr Saltmarsh should be classified as having a total permanent impairment for post-traumatic stress disorder after being sent 28 autopsy photos of his best mate, Senator Lambie said.

While serving in East Timor in 2000, Mr Saltmarsh's rifle independently discharged, accidentally killing Corporal Stuart Jones.

A military court found he had no case to answer, Senator Lambie said.

Senator Lambie said General Morrison, the former chief of army, was aware of his department's "attack" on Mr Saltmarsh.

"On that point alone, Mr Morrison should resign from his Australian of the Year position, let alone the involvement he has had in SAS Trooper Donaldson's matters and his appalling advocacy for ordinary diggers and veterans," she said.

Trooper Donaldson had been the victim of brutal sexual abuse and other assaults during secret training exercises run by the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

"Evan was bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food for 96 hours and during that time he was sexually assaulted and left bleeding," the senator said.

He had been the subject of almost seven years of government investigations and the Defence Department had misled six defence ministers, including the current minister Marise Payne, over the case.

Senator Lambie said the minister's latest compensation offer to Mr Donaldson had been grossly inadequate.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said the alleged incident involving Trooper Donaldson was unacceptable and cruel and must be resolved as soon as possible.

"What he has gone through has been appalling. Defence needs to sort this out as a matter of urgency," he said.