Ben Roberts-Smith to take the witness stand TODAY in his defamation ‘trial of the century’ – after dismissing claims he punched a girl he was having an affair with after a boozy Canberra operate
- Australia’s most embellished soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is suing 9 newspapers
- The struggle hero is anticipated to take the witness stand in his defamation lawsuit
- Afghanistan veteran and VC recipient claims he was portrayed as a struggle prison
- 42-year-old set to step right into a Federal Court docket witness field in Sydney on Tuesday
- Roberts-Smith might declare thousands and thousands in damages if he can show he was defamed
Australia’s most embellished soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is anticipated to take the witness stand on Tuesday in his defamation lawsuit over media stories he carried out illegal killings throughout his 2009 to 2012 tour of Afghanistan.
The previous particular forces corporal is suing the publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Occasions for defamation within the Federal Court docket over articles alleging he dedicated struggle crimes in Afghanistan, and assaulted a girl.
Mr Roberts-Smith’s barrister Bruce McClintock SC is an element means by means of his opening deal with, which started on Monday, and has painted his consumer as a brave and self-sacrificial soldier topic to a marketing campaign of lies by ‘bitter folks’ jealous of his success as a soldier.
Australia’s most embellished soldier has arrived on the Federal Court docket in Sydney prepared for battle towards the media shops he claims destroyed his repute as a struggle hero
Mr Roberts-Smith’s ex-wife Emma has ‘flipped’ and is giving proof for 9 Leisure. The previous couple is pictured collectively at a reception to have a good time navy and civilian heroes in London in 2012
Mr McClintock has argued that different SAS troopers developed huge jealousy over Mr Roberts-Smith’s navy awards and his Victoria Cross, with the struggle hero falling sufferer to tall poppy syndrome.
The struggle hero’s barrister has additionally rejected a declare of home violence towards his consumer, labelling it a fabrication and insisting that Mr Roberts-Smith abhors violence towards ladies.
The Federal Court docket in Sydney heard on Monday that the lady, generally known as Individual 17, had not made any allegation of assault towards Mr Roberts-Smith till after he ended their relationship.
Mr Roberts-Smith, a former Particular Air Service trooper awarded the Victoria Cross, is suing The Sydney Morning Herald over a narrative claiming he punched the lady, when he contends she drunkenly fell down the steps.
Barrister Bruce McClintock SC, for Mr Roberts-Smith, mentioned Individual 17 attended a operate hosted by then prime minister Malcolm Turnbull at Parliament Home together with his consumer on March 28, 2018.
Individual 17 turned so intoxicated on the operate she fell down a set of stairs resulting in an underground automotive park and suffered severely accidents to her face, Mr McClintock mentioned.
Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for ‘selfless’ actions in Afghanistan and can now struggle for his repute within the Federal Court docket, claiming he was smeared by media big 9 Leisure
9 newspapers printed a narrative claiming Mr Roberts-Smith argued with the lady after the operate and was indignant together with her out of concern she had uncovered their affair.
The paper alleges that in response to Individual 17 saying, ‘my head hurts’, Mr Roberts-Smith had mentioned, ‘It should harm extra’ or ‘I am going to present you what harm is’ and punched her within the left eye.
Mr McClintock mentioned that was precisely the place Individual 17 had been injured when she fell and Mr Roberts-Smith had not hit her.
‘This allegation is fully false,’ he mentioned.
‘[The fall] is the true and solely sources of the accidents that this girl suffered that night time.
‘Removed from hitting Individual 17 my consumer will give proof that he completely abhors violence in the direction of ladies and he has by no means and can by no means have interaction in it.’
The barrister’s opening deal with is anticipated to proceed for many of Tuesday, earlier than Mr Roberts-Smith takes the stand because the trial’s first witness.
Ben Roberts-Smith will spend the following two months in room 18D on the Regulation Courts Constructing within the central enterprise district defending himself towards claims he’s a struggle prison
A lot of Tuesday’s proof shall be heard by Justice Anthony Besanko behind closed doorways on account of nationwide safety issues, the courtroom has been advised.
It is usually possible that Tuesday’s proceedings will contain some argument between events about damages, it was mentioned on day one.
The landmark defamation motion is anticipated to take as much as 10 weeks and listen to from about 60 witnesses.
Mr Roberts-Smith denies all claims towards him and is looking for aggravated damages, whereas the publishers have put ahead a reality defence.
Mr Roberts-Smith’s mother and father, Len and Sue Roberts-Smith depart the Federal Court docket, hours after claiming the allegations towards their son ruined their lives