Australia asks Queen to pardon disgraced Boer War soldiers

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The petition asks Britain to review the trials of lieutenants Harry "Breaker" Morant and Peter Handcock who were found guilty of the murder of 12 prisoners of war in the dying days of the Boer War.

The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, sent the petition, written by a military lawyer, Commander James Unkles, last week.

"We don't express a view either way on it," said Mr McClelland's spokesman.

"We sent it because we don't have any jurisdiction to issue a pardon or review a case that was made by a foreign government in a foreign country."

Commander Unkles said there were strong grounds for overturning the 1902 verdict against Morant, Handcock and their co-accused George Witton, who had his death sentence commuted because it contained serious errors.

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