Australian army sacks 'Jedi' six over sex videos

SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian military has sacked six male officers over their role in the so-called "Jedi Council", a group which allegedly produced and shared videos of themselves having sex with women.

The Australian Defence Force said six officers and non-commissioned officers had been fired over the production or distribution of "highly inappropriate material demeaning women" on defence computers and the Internet.

"The standard of behaviour we expect of our serving members is clear," chief of army Lieutenant-General David Morrison said in a statement received on Friday.

"It is also clear that if you engage in misconduct, or you fail to uphold the army's standards, then you will be held to account."

Reports in June said the officers had allegedly filmed themselves having sex with women, including colleagues and civilians, and distributed the images to military personnel around the country without the women's knowledge.

The revelations, which followed a government report detailing more than 1,000 claims of sexual or other abuse in the forces from the 1950s to the present day, prompted Morrison to tell troops to respect women or quit the military.

"I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to its values," he said at the time.

The six men sacked ranged in rank from sergeant to major and three of them have been investigated by New South Wales police. A further seven also face termination while four are subject to administrative sanctions.

Disciplinary and/or administrative action was also being considered against a further 172 people, predominately army personnel, who were identified as peripheral to the group's email exchanges, defence said.

Morrison said a total of 122 regular army and reservists had had their service terminated so far this year due to serious misconduct or unacceptable behaviour, taking drugs and civilian offences.

The Australian Defence Force has been hit by a series of sex scandals, including the 2011 Skype incident in which a young male recruit had sex with a female classmate and streamed the encounter online to cadets in another room without her knowledge.

Last week the male cadet officer at the centre of that incident was kicked out of the army following his conviction in court.