PAF cadet suspended by Australian academy

ISLAMABAD, Sept 2: A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) cadet studying at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) has been suspended after he was allegedly caught secretly filming a cadet while she was taking a shower, according to an Australian daily, the Sydney Morning Herald. Obaid Fayyaz, 21, was granted bail by the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court on Aug 27, according to the report. He was arrested on Thursday night after a cadet found a mobile phone recording video in a vent above her shower cubicle in an ADFA dormitory. Mr Fayyaz’s case is the latest allegation of sexual misconduct at the academy. Two military cadets were charged in April with broadcasting a sexual encounter with another female cadet over Skype. The newspaper said that outrage over how the academy managed that case saw Defence Minister Stephen Smith announce reviews and inquiries into the culture there. Police seized a mobile phone, laptop computer and a memory stick from Mr Fayyaz’s room and he spent the night in jail ahead of his court appearance. No other cadets were under investigation. Mr Fayyaz is understood to be a high-achieving engineering cadet who was selected by the PAF for the training in Australia. A spokesman for Mr Smith said Mr Fayyaz had been suspended from the ADFA. “Defence is in discussions with the Pakistan high commission regarding his circumstances,” the spokesman told the newspaper. He is also quoted as having said that “Defence, including ADFA, takes allegations of unacceptable behaviour very seriously and will cooperate with the relevant authorities.” According to the paper, the ACT police did not oppose bail, but requested conditions, including one that Mr Fayyaz must not go within 50 metres of the alleged victim or contact, assault, threaten or intimidate her. The paper reported that Mr Fayyaz also surrendered his Pakistani passport. The next hearing will take place on Sept 9. In Pakistan, Dawn tried to contact the spokesman and several other officials at PAF media wing, but their mobile phones were switched off. The spokeswoman for the Foreign Office, Tehmina Janjua, and Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Canberra Abdul Malik Abdullah were also not available. The Australian High Commission here was closed due to Eid holidays. However, an Australian Foreign Office woman on the hotline of the embassy said she would forward the query to the section concerned.Dawn.

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