Ben Roberts-Smith: No apologies for alleged war crimes from a top soldier
Ben Roberts-Smith is proud of his activities in Afghanistan, he said in his first comments since a judge found that allegations of war crimes against him were genuine.
In a landmark defamation case last month, the Victoria Cross recipient was found to have murdered four Afghan captives.
Mr. Roberts-Smith claims he is innocent and plans to file an appeal.
“It’s a terrible outcome, and it’s the incorrect outcome,” he said on Nine News on Wednesday.
He also stated that he will not apologize to those harmed by his alleged crimes when he returned to Australia for the first time since the verdict was handed on June 1st.
“We haven’t done anything wrong, so we won’t be making any apologies,” he explained.
Mr Roberts-Smith filed a lawsuit against three Australian publications after a series of articles claimed he committed unlawful executions and abused fellow soldiers while deployed in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012.
However, Federal Court Judge Anthony Besanko dismissed Mr Roberts-Smith’s action against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Canberra Times, stating that it was “substantially true” that Mr Roberts-Smith murdered defenseless Afghan captives and civilians and tormented peers.
Mr Roberts-Smith, who left the defense force in 2013, has not been charged in a criminal court, where the bar of proof is higher.
The 44-year-old, who is Australia’s most decorated surviving soldier, had spent the days preceding up to the civil court verdict in Bali, Indonesia.