World News – AU – Court orders Ben Roberts Smith to hand over the documents


Former soldier Ben Roberts Smith has been ordered to hand over the preliminary findings of a war crimes investigation into his conduct in Afghanistan to lawyers working for media companies suing him for defamation

Wednesday’s Federal Court ruling ordered Mr. Roberts Smith to submit documents which he said should remain confidentiality of documents important because it confirms that Afghan veterans have long been the inspector general’s focus in the Australian Defense Forces’ war crimes investigation.

The findings of this commission of inquiry are likely to be revealed next week by Chief of Defense Forces Angus Campbell, but defense sources who cannot be identified because they are not authorized to speak publicly expect no soldier to be named to preserve future criminal prosecutions. / p>

However, on Wednesday the court heard that Mr. Roberts Smith had released preliminary findings about his behavior by Judge Paul Breriton after four years of investigations and hundreds of interviews with SAS insiders

The former soldier was ordered to hand over these findings, which are believed to contain hundreds of pages of analysis and evidence, to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, who are being sued by Mr. Roberts Smith over reports that he allegedly committed murder in connection with deployments in Afghanistan and punched a woman in the face. In Canberra

Documents may include a notice from the investigation stating that Mr. Roberts Smith is a « potentially affected person ». A « PAP Notice » is issued to persons subject to an adverse conclusion or recommendation, and is designed to give recipients a last chance to respond to allegations against them

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald allege that Mr Roberts Smith was involved in several unlawful killings as an Australian soldier in Afghanistan, including the killing of Ali Jan, a farmer who in 2012 in Darawan was kicked from a cliff while he was handcuffed Then he was shot dead, and Mr Roberts Smith allegedly ordered soldiers in his command to shoot dead Afghan men.

The Australian Federal Police are investigating the death of Mr. Jan. The Federal Court has heard that Mr. Roberts Smith is a suspect. Agence France-Presse interviewed the former soldier and obtained eyewitness accounts of his involvement in war crimes and no charges were filed

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald also reported an allegation that Mr. Roberts Smith had a woman when the couple left a job at Parliament House in 2018 the woman alleges that she and Mr. Roberts Smith were having an affair at the time

He denies the allegations and says that the reports are defamatory because they portray him as a criminal. News outlets are defending this claim. In defense of the truth, the defamation trial will begin next year

Developments in federal court Wednesday come more than two years after Mr Roberts Smith issued defamation proceedings in 2018, he also stated publicly that he had not been contacted by the Breton investigation, which has been underway since 2016, or its affiliated war crimes task force. To the Australian Federal Police and that allegations about his behavior were just rumors

Mr. Roberts Smith’s attorneys last month launched a final attempt to conceal important investigative documents from the news outlets’ attorneys, but Judge Craig Colvin ruled in federal court on Wednesday that files should be released to the media.

However, not all required documents will be released so as not to jeopardize potential criminal proceedings against Mr. Roberts Smith and other soldiers

Judge Colvin ordered a revision of documents containing information provided by Mr. Roberts Smith and other soldiers to the Inspector General’s investigation. The judge found that there was « sufficient risk » that soldiers facing a potential trial could apply for a permanent stay in future criminal proceedings if they were to Disclose their evidence in the investigation

The Inspector General completed his investigation into allegations of misconduct by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2016 and handed them over to General Campbell, who said he would publicly discuss the main findings

If you are a current or former ADF member, or relative, and need advice or support, contact the 24/7 support line at 1 800 628 036 or Open Arms at 1800 011 046

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Adam Cooper joined The Age in 2011 after a decade with AAP Email Adam or tweet your news tips

Ben Roberts Smith, Document, Australian Defense Force, War Crime

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