Friday 24th of May 2024

Should Halliburton Take Responsibily For Australian Soldier Mix-Up ?

 It has been reported that the body of Australian soldier Jake Kovco returned to Australia accompanied by the identification of a Halliburton contractor.  The body of Juso Sunanovic,the deceased worker from Bosnia was in a bag bearing the correctname and passport number, and had been delivered to the Kuwait morgue by a Halliburton/KBR employee.



A simple scrap of paper with Private Jake Kovco's
name scrawled in Arabic marks the door where his coffin was stored at
the Kuwait hospital's mortuary.

Photo: Jeroen Kramer (from Kuwait blog Hilalya)

After a formal identification in Australia, the Bosnian's body was returned to Kuwait to be identified by Halliburton/KBR and the Bosnian ambassador.  HERE

 While KBR has smoothed matters over with the Bosnian's family, it seems to me that the "other body" aspect is not being regarded as it should.  That a company working in a war-zone cannot competently bring home it's own dead must surely be of concern for the wives of Texan truckers.

Ironically the body of Sunanovic was cared for in Australia by a relative of the fallen Australian soldier who worked in the funeral trade. 

The Australian Defence inquiry into Kovco's death has placed responsibility for the body mis-identification on the fellow soldier who accompanied him.   It doesn't mention that Halliburton has obviously made the same mistake  

Yoiu can't help wonder if the Department of Defence is pre-empting it's own inquiry.  While the report released on Friday is a self-confessed "sanitised" version, a defence media release has announced that the Board Of Inquiry into Kovco's death and repatriation will reconvene at Sydney s Victoria Barracks on Monday July 17 at 9am.  A live video feed will be available to journalists, though no recording devices will be permitted.  Whitewash will be provided freely.

The report  release last week is not the final finding of the inquiry.

Will we see an inquiry into Halluburton's involvement?  Not bloody likely.