Retired army major-general Jim Molan has refused to accept Greens MP Adam Bandt’s apology for describing him as a ‘war criminal’ and a ‘complete coward’ on national television.
Senator Molan – who has a decorated 40-year military career – threatened to hit Mr Bandt with a lawsuit if he did not retract his statements and make an apology.
Mr Bandt suggested in a TV interview on Wednesday the father of sports presenter Erin Molan may have committed war crimes during the battle for Fallujah.
Senator Molan, the father of sports presenter Erin Molan, said he had lawyers and financial backing organised ready to sue Mr Bandt for defamation if he didn’t make a public apology
Mr Bandt (pictured) condemned Mr Molan for sharing videos by far-right UK group Britain First on Facebook
‘I hereby apologise for those statements,’ Mr Bandt said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.
But Senator Molan said he will not accept Mr Bandt’s ‘disappointing’ apology.
Speaking on Sydney Live with Ben Fordham, he said: ‘I was deeply disappointed in the apology. There seemed to me to be no contrition that was proportional to the serious allegations that he made.’
‘The reaction of men and women, particularly of those in uniform and their families to me, indicate that Adam should really reconsider his apology given the people he has impacted.
I want him to reconsider it and I consider that all my options are still on the table and I am not accepting it.’
Mr Molan, who has a decorated 40-year military career, is pictured second from right
Senator Molan said he would pursue legal action if he wasn’t given an appropriate apology
Senator Molan gathered his legal artillery after the Greens MP said he would ‘probably be up for prosecution’ if an independent inquiry was launched into his actions in the Iraq War.
The Liberal senator said he would pursue legal action if he wasn’t given an appropriate apology.
‘I would invite Mr Bandt to offer me a public apology,’ Mr Molan told The Australian on Wednesday.
‘If he publicly apologised to me for the statements that he made, then that would end the problem.’
Speaking to Sky News earlier in the week, Mr Bandt condemned Mr Molan for sharing videos by far-right UK group Britain First on Facebook.
The retired major-general and now NSW Liberal senator shared the videos in March last year which purport to show Muslim violence in Europe.
Senator Molan has since described the Britain First group as ‘scum’ but has not apologised for sharing the videos.
The Greens MP apologised publicly to Senator Molan (Pictured) on Thursday afternoon
Senator Molan is the father of Erin Molan, a sports presenter and television personality
Senator Molan told parliament on Monday he was not racist or anti-Islam and had shared the videos because he was against violence and anti-social behaviour.
Mr Bandt said Senator Molan was ‘a coward’ for refusing to apologise.
‘When you share white supremacist videos and then you justify it by saying ‘Oh, I’m doing it to stimulate debate’, and that is the line that came out of his office, you are a coward, you are a complete coward,’ he said.
‘If there was a proper inquiry, in an independent inquiry into the war in Iraq in Australia, like there has been in other countries, I think you would find Jim Molan would probably be up for prosecution rather than praise for his role in the atrocities in Fallujah.’
Greens leader Richard Di Natale earlier accused Mr Molan (pictured) of committing war crimes
The Fallujah campaign was heavily criticised for its indifference to civilians.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale earlier accused Mr Molan of committing war crimes.
He made the comment in Parliament on Monday night, and was therefore protected from defamation by parliamentary privilege.
His colleague Mr Bandt made his comments about the war veteran outside parliament and is therefore not protected from defamation.