HARRY “Breaker” Morant, executed more than 112 years ago, has no chance of Australian backing for a pardon. The Federal Labour Government will take no action to pardon Morant and Peter Handcock, who were executed by a British firing squad after being convicted of killing 12 prisoners during the Boer War. Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has asked to meet military lawyer James Unkles, an Australian Naval Reserve Commander, tomorrow in Melbourne to explain her reasons. Mr Unkles, who has spent years reviewing the case and pushing for the men to be pardoned, described the decision as an “embarrassment”. “I’ll be going to the Court of Appeal (in Britain). They deserve a fair hearing,” he said. Ms Roxon said because they had killed people, they would not pass the test to be pardoned and she was “uncomfortable” in pushing for them to be pardoned. “I believe it would be inappropriate to advocate for a pardon,” she wrote in a letter to Mr Unkles.
Update in 2014: I am pleased to report that the decision of Ms Roxon is being reviewed. I remain confident that an independent inquiry will be ordered in view of new and compelling evidence that has surfaced since the election of the Liberal/National Government.
UPDATE 2017: The case for review is close to resolution, news to follow.
Update Sept 2016: Expect news from re elected LNP Government