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Australian Whistleblower David McBride Sentenced for Sharing Military Documents

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Former military lawyer David McBride has been sentenced to five years and eight months in jail by the ACT Supreme Court for sharing classified military documents.

McBride, who pleaded guilty to three charges including theft and sharing secret documents with journalists at the ABC, received a non-parole period of 27 months.

The court found McBride’s actions were driven by a belief in revealing illegal activity within the defense forces, specifically regarding the Afghanistan war.

In response to the sentencing, Kieran Pender from the Human Rights Law Centre expressed concerns over the chilling effect it may have on potential whistleblowers.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie criticized the federal government for not intervening in McBride’s prosecution and voiced his disappointment at the outcome.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus highlighted that the prosecution of McBride was conducted independently, emphasizing the role of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions in the case.

The case has sparked discussions around the role of whistleblowers in society and the balance between national security and transparency.

David McBride has indicated his plans to appeal the judgment, showcasing his resolve to defend his actions in the name of public interest.

Overall, the sentencing of McBride marks a significant moment in Australian legal history, highlighting the complexities of upholding national security while addressing concerns of misconduct within governmental institutions.

Rachel Adams

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