Ex-aid worker to serve time

FRIENDS and workmates had warned Mooloolaba aid contractor Neil Campbell that he was on the verge of "burn-out" and should leave Afghanistan to spend time with his family back in Queensland: that he had "lost the ability to think straight".

"I had lost interest in my job and was just going through the motions," he told a US court yesterday, where he was being sentenced for having solicited $US190,000 in kick-backs. "They thought I'd get myself killed."

In an emotional plea, the 62-year-old, who spent four months in India's notorious Tihar Prison before being extradited to the US in February, apologised for having tried to steal US Government aid money.

"I had no idea what I was thinking," he told Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington's District Court.

"For this I am truly sorry. This is a shame I will have to take back with me to my home town and live with long after everyone in this country has forgotten about it ...

"Being in a war zone, you just get worn down. In the end, you lose your ability to think clearly."

Read more at Brisbane Times


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