anzac day march
(Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)

As new details emerge of alleged war crimes committed by Australia’s special forces in Afghanistan, the regiment’s most powerful supporters are stepping up their campaign to defend the elite fighting force.

A charity co-founded by billionaire Kerry Stokes and backed by Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has confirmed it is collecting donations for the legal fight of SAS soldiers who face prosecution over the alleged murder of Afghan civilians.

The SAS Resources Fund was set up after the Blackhawk helicopter disaster in 1996 that killed 18 soldiers in a training exercise in Townsville. But the charity’s chairman, Dr Grant Walsh, said it had decided to create a separate fund to raise money for the legal fees of soldiers accused of war crimes after “members of the Australian community” wanted to know how they could help.