Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Australian judge proves veteran killed prisoners in Afghanistan


Australia’s most decorated Australian veteran may have murdered prisoners and committed other war crimes in Afghanistan, a judge ruled on Thursday, rejecting claims by Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith that media reports He was being defamed.

Federal Court Judge Anthony Besanko found articles published in 2018 were fundamentally true about various war crimes committed by Roberts-Smith, a former Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) corporal who now owns a media company are executive. ,

Besanko concluded that Roberts-Smith, who had also been awarded a gallantry medal for his service in Afghanistan, “broke the moral and legal rules of engagement” and had embarrassed Australia by his conduct.

He is also accused of kicking an unarmed, handcuffed farmer to the bottom of a river where he ordered a soldier under his command to shoot the farmer in 2012.

One of the proven allegations was that the veteran, the son of a judge, had killed an inmate with a prosthetic leg in 2009 by shooting him in the back with a machine gun.

He is also accused of kicking an unarmed, handcuffed farmer to the bottom of a river where he ordered a soldier under his command to shoot the farmer in 2012.

On another occasion, Roberts-Smith pressured a “newly deployed and inexperienced” soldier into “bringing in the impostor” to an elderly, unarmed Afghan, the court concluded.

Allegations that the former soldier, who is 2.02 m (6 ft 7 in) tall, harassed soldiers and attacked Afghan civilians, were also deemed proven.

The judge said that two of the six wrongful death counts allegedly involving Roberts-Smith were not proven because they did not meet the civil court’s probability requirements.

Reports of domestic violence allegedly committed by Roberts-Smith were also found to be defamatory and unsubstantiated, although the judge found that the unproven allegations did not further damage the veteran’s reputation.

Had war crimes charges been brought before a criminal court, they would have required strong evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

Roberts-Smith, 44, has denied all allegations. His lawyers attributed this to “jealousy” by “bitter people” in the special forces who had led a “poison campaign against him”.

The civil suit accused the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times of defamation for their articles.

Nick McKenzie, one of those responsible for the article, praised the SAS veterans who testified against the national hero.

“Today is the day of judgment. It is a day of justice for those brave men in the SAS who stood up and spoke the truth about Ben Roberts-Smith: a war criminal, a bully and a liar,” McKenzie told reporters in court.

Roberts-Smith’s attorney, Arthur Moses, asked for 42 days to assess whether to appeal the verdict to the full Federal Court.

The legal costs of the case have been borne by billionaire Kerry Stokes, CEO of Seven West Media, where the veteran works.

Roberts-Smith is one of Australian soldiers under investigation by the Australian Federal Police for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

The first charges were filed in March for the alleged unlawful killing in Afghanistan. Former SAS patrolman Oliver Schulz has been charged with war crimes for the murder of an Afghan man who was shot in a wheat field in Uruzgan province in 2012.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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