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Jim Molan backs down from threat to sue MP after forcing second apology

Latika Bourke

Published: February 10 2018 - 12:23AM

Newly minted Senator Jim Molan, who has been at the centre of a week-long row over Britain First Facebook posts, has retreated from this threat to hit fellow MP Adam Bandt with a lawsuit, but only after he forced two apologies from the Greens representative.

The member for Melbourne said Senator Molan, a retired major general who was chief of operations in Iraq in the mid 2000s, would "probably be up for prosecution" if there was ever a review into his conduct on the battlefield. That prompted a furious response from Senator Molan, who threated to sue Mr Bandt for defamation unless he apologised.

On Thursday Mr Bandt said: "I hereby apologise for those statements". But Senator Molan said that was not good enough and warned he was still considering legal action. On Friday Mr Bandt issued a second apology and said he would make a donation to a veterans support organisation.

"I wish to publicly say that I was wrong to make such accusations and inferences against Senator Molan," Mr Bandt said in a statement.

"I sincerely apologise and express my regret to Senator Molan and to those who have served in Australia’s operational theatres and to their families and friends who were offended by my comments."

Senator Molan said he accepted Mr Bandt's second go at saying sorry.

"I have read Adam Bandt’s revised apology and find it acceptable...

I will not be pursuing the matter further," he said.

"I am pleased that Adam has taken my advice to make a donation to a veteran’s organisation. The most distressing part of this saga has been the great number of calls that I and my staff received from veterans, their families and other members of the wider community from all over the country who were hurt by Adam’s comments."

Senator Molan is refusing to apologise for sharing posts from the far-right nationalist group Britain First on Facebook a year ago, despite widespread criticism.

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