Ben Roberts-Smith’s repute was ‘smashed and destroyed’ by claims of battle crimes


Ben Roberts-Smith had misplaced $475,000 in earnings from public talking engagements since he was accused of battle crimes, the Federal Courtroom has heard.

Australia’s most adorned soldier was paid $320,000 for public talking within the 2018 monetary yr earlier than 9 newspapers printed tales alleging he murdered six Afghanis.

His barrister, Bruce McClintock SC stated the impact of these tales had been to ‘smash and destroy’ the Victoria Cross recipient’s repute. 

‘In 2018… there couldn’t have been a former solider higher identified or extra extremely revered than my shopper,’ Mr McClintock instructed the court docket. 

That every one modified after newspapers together with The Age and Sydney Morning Herald accused Mr Roberts-Smith of battle crimes and home violence in August 2018, he stated. 

Australia’s most adorned soldier Ben Roberts-Smith (centre) is suing three newspapers and three journalists he says destroyed his repute as a battle hero. His barrister Bruce McClintock SC is pictured left

Mr Roberts-Smith can be looking for aggravated damages as a result of in keeping with Mr McClintock, the writer knew a few of their claims to be false. 

The tales had been introduced in a ‘sensational’ method, included ‘unjustifiable allegations of homicide’ and had not been withdrawn.

Whereas Mr Roberts-Smith was as soon as a lot in demand as a speaker, even invites to Anzac Day ceremonies stopped. 

Mr McClintock stated it was ‘not a contest’ to set information for damages payouts however his shopper would wish a enough quantity to be compensated for the lack of his repute and harm.  

‘The extra critical the assault the higher the sum of money that is essential to vindicate,’ Mr McClintock stated. 

He stated an accountant would estimate Mr Roberts-Smith had misplaced $475,000 from talking engagements alone. 

Mr McClintock additionally confirmed former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce, who had introduced Mr Roberts-Smith along with his VC, wouldn’t be giving character proof on his behalf however had by no means withdrawn her assist. 

Ben Roberts-Smith will spend the next two months in room 18D at the Law Courts Building in the central business district defending himself against claims he is a war criminal

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 battle felony

His accusers have also assembled at the Federal Court as they try to prove on the balance of probabilities that Mr Roberts-Smith was involved in six murders during Australia's longest war

Mr Roberts-Smith is suing Nine-owned newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, plus the now-separately owned The Canberra Times over allegations he committed battlefield crimes while on deployment in Afghanistan, which he vehemently denies

His accusers have additionally assembled on the Federal Courtroom as they attempt to show on the steadiness of possibilities that Mr Roberts-Smith was concerned in six murders throughout Australia’s longest battle

Mr McClintock instructed the court docket on Monday his shopper had been the sufferer of jealous former comrades who falsely accused him of committing battle crimes.

‘It is a case about braveness, devotion to obligation, self-sacrifice and maybe most essential of all, surpassing ability in soldiering,’ Mr McClintock instructed Justice Anthony Besanko.

‘Alternatively, your Honour, it is a case about dishonest journalism, corrosive jealousy, cowardice and lies. 

‘It is also about how a person with a deservedly excessive repute for braveness, ability and decency… had that repute destroyed by bitter individuals jealous of his braveness and success as a solider, notably his Victoria Cross, aided by credulous journalists.’ 

Mr McClintock stated Mr Roberts-Smith was simply the most recent in an extended line of younger males Australia had despatched abroad to battle and die for greater than a century.

Conflict was relentlessly violent, Mr McClintock stated, and that truth had been forgotten within the rush to carry Mr Roberts-Smith down.

Mr McClintock then quoted Britain’s Conflict World II chief Winston Churchill: ‘We sleep soundly in our beds as a result of tough males stand prepared within the night time to go to violence on those that would do us hurt.’

He argued Mr Roberts-Smith and his comrades-in-arms had been despatched to kill in Afghanistan and their Taliban rebel enemy didn’t put on uniforms and selections needed to be made with out the good thing about hindsight.

Nine executive editor of Australian Metro Publishing James Chessell (left) and editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Lisa Davies (right) arrive at the court

9 government editor of Australian Metro Publishing James Chessell (left) and editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Lisa Davies (proper) arrive on the court docket

The parents of Mr Roberts-Smith, Len and Sue Roberts-Smith depart the Federal Court, hours after claiming the allegations against their son ruined their lives

The dad and mom of Mr Roberts-Smith, Len and Sue Roberts-Smith depart the Federal Courtroom, hours after claiming the allegations towards their son ruined their lives

The battle in Afghanistan was fought amid intense warmth, mud, noise, smells and worry – a battlefield on which Mr Roberts-Smith excelled.

‘It’s inconceivable right here on this court docket room the truth of preventing within the circumstances that existed in Afghanistan,’ Mr McClintock stated.

Mr McClintock stated selections within the warmth of battle needed to be made immediately and the way one particular person would possibly see an occasion from 100m away might seem fully totally different up-close.

‘Perspective is every part,’ he instructed the court docket. ‘Battle is just not like a pc recreation whenever you restart the sport and get your lives again.’

Mr McClintock stated the previous troopers who made claims towards Mr Roberts-Smith had not spoken up till years after the occasions they now complained about.

He instructed a few of their claims had been made out of jealousy over Mr Roberts-Smith’s medals for gallantry and their very own failures as troopers. 

Mr McClintock stated one false allegation Mr Roberts-Smith murdered an Afghani, which was not too long ago withdrawn by 9, ought to result in the biggest aggravated damages ever awarded in Australia.

The motion in September 2012 concerned Mr Roberts-Smith swimming a river at Darwan in Uruzgan Province and capturing lifeless a mid-level rebel armed with an AK-47-style assault rifle.

Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for 'selfless' actions in Afghanistan and will now fight for his reputation in the Federal Court, claiming he was smeared by media giant Nine Entertainment

Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the Victoria Cross for ‘selfless’ actions in Afghanistan and can now battle for his repute within the Federal Courtroom, claiming he was smeared by media large 9 Leisure

During his fifth tour of duty in Afghanistan, Mr Roberts-Smith (pictured) drew enemy fire away from pinned-down members of his patrol, stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them

Throughout his fifth tour of obligation in Afghanistan, Mr Roberts-Smith (pictured) drew enemy hearth away from pinned-down members of his patrol, stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them

Mr Roberts-Smith then rolled the person’s physique to the sting of the river and sat him up so he might be photographed to be recognized with facial recognition expertise.

‘There could be completely little question that my shopper killed this rebel throughout the guidelines of engagement,’ Mr McClintock stated.

Mr McClintock outlined occasions which occurred at a Taliban compound often called Whiskey 108 at Kakarak in southern Afghanistan on Easter Sunday in April 2009.

Throughout that engagement Mr Roberts-Smith shot lifeless an rebel with a prosthetic leg. One other soldier, often called Individual 6 within the court docket case and one in every of Mr Roberts-Smith’s ‘enemies’, souvenired the leg as a battle trophy.

Mr McClintock stated the leg was saved on the SAS base and used as a consuming vessel, which could appear in dangerous style, ‘however within the scheme of human wickedness it doesn’t price very excessive’.

Nonetheless, Mr Roberts-Smith maintained he by no means drank from the hole limb as a result of he didn’t wish to lend approval to one thing Individual 6 did.

On one other mission in July 2012 within the Chora Valley a patrol led by Mr Roberts-Smith had been unintentionally fired upon by one other SAS patrol.

A member of Mr Roberts-Smith’s patrol, often called Individual 10, opened hearth with a machinegun. Mr Roberts-Smith noticed {that a} girl in a burka and a boy had been in Individual 10’s arc of fireside.

Mr McClintock stated that after that engagement Mr Roberts-Smith requested Individual 10 why he had shot on the girl and youngster.

When Individual 10, who has accused Mr Roberts-Smith of bullying, responded by guffawing, Mr Roberts-Smith punched him the face.

‘He is hardly the primary particular person within the military to throw a punch,’ Mr McClintock instructed the court docket.

Mr Roberts-Smith's ex-wife Emma has 'flipped' and is giving evidence for Nine Entertainment. The former couple is pictured together at a reception to celebrate military and civilian heroes in London in 2012

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 army and civilian heroes in London in 2012

Mr Roberts-Smith is also suing his ex-wife Emma Roberts, claiming she broke into his email account. She is pictured outside her Brisbane home on Friday

Mr Roberts-Smith can be suing his ex-wife Emma Roberts, claiming she broke into his electronic mail account. She is pictured outdoors her Brisbane house on Friday

Mr McClintock additionally referred to the seize of three Afghan males and a teen who had been travelling in a Toyota Hilux at Fazel in November 2012. The youth was allegedly ‘shaking like a leaf’ throughout the encounter.

9 claims Mr Roberts-Smith admitted murdering the boy in a dialog one or two days after the mission in a dialog with Individual 16 who requested him, ‘What occurred to the younger bloke who was shaking like a leaf?’

Mr Roberts-Smith allegedly responded: ‘I shot the c*** within the head. [Person 15] instructed me to not kill any c*** on that job so I pulled out my 9mm and shot him within the head. It was essentially the most lovely factor I’ve ever seen.’

Mr McClintock stated that model of occasions was ‘completely ridiculous’.

‘It is like Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now as Colonel Kilgore on ice,’ he stated. ‘It is insane. It is the type of factor that will be stated by an ostentatious psychopath.’

Defence paperwork would reveal the 4 males had been intercepted by a patrol Mr Roberts-Smith was not on, the boy had been launched and the three males had been taken to the Australian base at Tarin Kowt.

Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured with the prosthetic leg of a fallen Afghani that was kept at the SAS base and used as a drinking vessel. Mr McClintock said this might seem in bad taste, 'but in the scheme of human wickedness it does not rate very high.' Mr Roberts-Smiths denies ever actually drinking from the leg

Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured with the prosthetic leg of a fallen Afghani that was saved on the SAS base and used as a consuming vessel. Mr McClintock stated this may appear in dangerous style, ‘however within the scheme of human wickedness it doesn’t price very excessive.’ Mr Roberts-Smiths denies ever really consuming from the leg

Mr McClintock stated the jealousy in the direction of his shopper escalated after he was awarded the Victoria Cross in 2011, when he turned well-known outdoors army circles.

The court docket heard that on Mr Roberts-Smith’s final deployment to Afghanistan in 2012 he would discover messages equivalent to ‘BRS is after one other medal’ on a noticeboard on the Australians’ headquarters.

Mr McClintock stated by 2012 the workload Mr Roberts-Smith endured was ‘virtually inhumane’ however he coped higher with repeated deployments than lots of his colleagues.

After Mr Roberts-Smith left the military, accomplished a MBA and had enterprise success, the ‘toxic marketing campaign’ of envy towards him elevated.

‘Some would possibly name it the tall poppy syndrome,’ Mr McClintock stated. ‘Others would possibly simply name it jealousy.’ 

Mr Roberts-Smith is suing 9-owned newspapers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, plus The Canberra Occasions over allegations he dedicated battlefield crimes.  

'I'm feeling good mate, looking forward to finally setting the record straight,' Mr Roberts-Smith told Daily Mail Australia ahead of the hearing

‘I am feeling good mate, wanting ahead to lastly setting the report straight,’ Mr Roberts-Smith instructed Each day Mail Australia forward of the listening to

The former soldier has taken leave as general manager of Seven's Queensland operations for the duration of the hearing

The previous soldier has taken go away as normal supervisor of Seven’s Queensland operations during the listening to

Mr Roberts-Smith’s case is being bankrolled by the Seven Community’s proprietor, billionaire Kerry Stokes. The previous soldier has taken go away as normal supervisor of Seven’s Queensland operations during the listening to. 

The 42-year-old is ready to step into the witness field to defend his repute this week. 

Mr Roberts-Smith was awarded the nation’s prime army honour for ‘selfless actions in circumstances of nice peril’ whereas looking a senior Taliban commander at Tizak in June 2010. 

Throughout his fifth tour of obligation in Afghanistan, Mr Roberts-Smith had drawn enemy hearth away from pinned-down members of his patrol, stormed two enemy machine-gun posts and silenced them.

Mr Roberts-Smith has taken leave as boss of the Seven Network's Queensland operations for the duration of the hearing. His case is being bankrolled by Seven's owner, billionaire Kerry Stokes (pictured with wife Christine)

Mr Roberts-Smith has taken go away as boss of the Seven Community’s Queensland operations during the listening to. His case is being bankrolled by Seven’s proprietor, billionaire Kerry Stokes (pictured with spouse Christine)

In his lawsuit, Mr Roberts-Smith alleges Nine's newspapers and its journalists Nick McKenzie (pictured), David Wroe and Chris Masters defamed him in the then Fairfax press in 2018.

In his lawsuit, Mr Roberts-Smith alleges 9’s newspapers and its journalists Nick McKenzie (pictured), David Wroe and Chris Masters defamed him within the then Fairfax press in 2018.

He had beforehand been awarded the Medal for Gallantry for his actions as a patrol scout and sniper close to the Chora Go in Might 2006.

In his lawsuit, Mr Roberts-Smith alleges 9’s newspapers and its journalists Nick McKenzie, Chris Masters and David Wroe defamed him in what was then often called the Fairfax press in 2018.

Amongst his claims is that the publications wrongly made out that he ‘broke the ethical and authorized guidelines of army engagement and is subsequently a felony.’

Mr Roberts-Smith says the newspapers falsely implied his alleged conduct had disgraced his nation and the Military.

9 Leisure Co, the media large which now owns the previous Fairfax shops, is defending their journalists’ claims on the idea the allegations are true. 

Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured shaking hands with the Queen at Buckingham Palace at a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association in 2018

Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured shaking palms with the Queen at Buckingham Palace at a reception for the Victoria Cross and George Cross Affiliation in 2018

Former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce pinned Mr Roberts-Smith's Victoria Cross to his chest (pictured) and was expected to give a character reference at trial, however reports have claimed she has withdrawn

Former governor-general Dame Quentin Bryce pinned Mr Roberts-Smith’s Victoria Cross to his chest (pictured) and was anticipated to present a personality reference at trial, nonetheless studies have claimed she has withdrawn

The newspapers will plead that Mr Roberts-Smith was complicit in and chargeable for the murders of six individuals in Afghanistan, and that these alleged actions constituted battle crimes. 

The onetime corporal would be the first witness of an anticipated 60 to be referred to as at what’s estimated to be a ten-week trial. 

After Mr McClintock offers his opening, the ex-soldier will give proof after which face what’s prone to be every week of cross-examination by legal professionals for 9. 

Character witnesses will then testify on his behalf, adopted by witnesses for 9.

Mr Robert-Smith’s ex-wife Emma Roberts, the mom of his two kids, is predicted to present proof for the writer after ‘flipping’ sides. 

Ms Roberts’ buddy Danielle Scott, John McLeod – a former bodyguard of drug smuggler Schapelle Corby – alleged Afghani eye-witnesses and a handful of troopers can even be referred to as by 9 in the principle trial. 

Then Mr Roberts-Smith’s group will name proof from his different witnesses, understood to incorporate former SAS comrades. 

Among Mr Roberts-Smith's claims is that the Nine Entertainment publications wrongly made out that he 'broke the moral and legal rules of military engagement and is therefore a criminal.' Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured

Amongst Mr Roberts-Smith’s claims is that the 9 Leisure publications wrongly made out that he ‘broke the ethical and authorized guidelines of army engagement and is subsequently a felony.’ Mr Roberts-Smith is pictured



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