The federal government is staring down growing calls to drop all charges against the former military lawyer who blew the whistle on alleged war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie said David McBride should be praised, but instead was facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars.
"The federal government must stop going after whistleblowers who risk everything to reveal what happens in dark corners," Mr Wilkie said on Monday.
"It must drop all charges against Mr McBride."
Attorney-General Christian Porter told parliament it would be inappropriate for the government to intervene in the case.
Mr Porter said laws giving him the power to stop such a case had never been used.
"Such an intervention would be utterly extraordinary and would necessarily, by its very nature, represent political intervention in a process which has conventionally been independent," he said.
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has declined to comment as the case is before the courts.
Earlier this month, Australian Defence Force Chief Angus Campbell released a major report into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.
The report found Australian special forces committed at least 39 unlawful killings during the Afghanistan war and treated two prisoners with cruelty.
Australian Associated Press