Ben Roberts-Smith VC Defamation Trial

Latest Judgement on the subpoena of Person 81


I thought this paragraph was quite telling

The respondents’ argument that they do not know what Person 81 is likely to say on a number of key topics is correct. In fact, it is clear the applicant does not know either. The latter point is reinforced by the text message sent by Person 81 to Ms Allen. This application is unusual in that it is not entirely clear how Person 81’s evidence will advance the applicant’s case. The lack of notice of the evidence Person 81 will give leads to the potential prejudice to the respondents which I have already identified.

Imagine complaining because you do not know what a witness might, or might not say ?

Person 81 was the troop commander when 2 persons were, or were not, dragged out of a tunnel and executed. He is also the current CO.
 
Person 81 backs Robert - Smiths version of events at Whiskey 108

A senior SAS soldier who will likely be the final witness to testify in the protracted defamation trial launched by Ben Roberts-Smith has backed the war veteran on a key piece of evidence.

But the captain at the time denies ever seeing fighting-aged males coming out of the tunnel, nor did he see any prisoners taken captive.
And nobody in his troop told him unlawful activity had occurred that day, he said.

 
A photograph has been released of the equipment find in the tunnel at Whiskey 108

Tunnel.jpg



I'll stick by my earlier that comment that if 2 men had been in the tunnel along with a cache of weapons - The 2 men would not have come out of the tunnel alive.
 
The case has now ended.

Legal costs are estimated to be $25 million.

Robert-Smith is seeking substantially damages.


I found this paragraph rather telling

While a separate inquiry by the Inspector-General of the Defence Force into allegations of war crimes and misconduct by Australian soldiers was well underway by 2018, and criminal prosecutions may yet flow from it, no charges have been laid to date.

I wonder how that can be - The bodycam footage ( according to some ) apparently shows a cold blooded killing / murder.

( It has probably been missed by those that only watched the short clip - That the soldier was actually directed onto the target by a helicopter )
 
The case has now ended.

Legal costs are estimated to be $25 million.
That's why in the legal profession there is a saying that only lawyers win defamation trials.
I found this paragraph rather telling
I wonder how that can be - The bodycam footage ( according to some ) apparently shows a cold blooded killing / murder.
I suspect that any prosecutor wants a corroborative witness before proceeding.
( It has probably been missed by those that only watched the short clip - That the soldier was actually directed onto the target by a helicopter )
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the helicopter bods directed the soldier onto the suspect as he was running from the scene at the time rather than he was carrying gun/icom/ whatever
 
Correct me if I am wrong but I think the helicopter bods directed the soldier onto the suspect as he was running from the scene at the time rather than he was carrying gun/icom/ whatever

No correction coming from me.

I know the soldier was being directed by the heli bods - I do not know if runner was carrying a weapon / ICOM / or whatever ( which would have been ditched in the fields anyway, as soon as he started running )
 
Which way do you think it will go in your opinion

No idea to be honest - The reason being that a lot of ''evidence '' was held behind closed doors.

have the media established a defence of truth?

From what I have read in the public domain - The Media have certainly not established a defence of truth.

The ex lover was debunked by an an independent witness ( who also cited 2 x Federal Police as witnesses )

The rest of it pretty much seems to be a he said - she said ( Mostly by people who appear to have been bullied by Robert-Smith for unprofessional actions )

* No weapon oil

* Incorrectly re-assembled weapon

* Firing at an unidentified target - Which turned out to be a woman and child.

I think the killer might have been the Patrol report ( and oral evidence ) given by Person 81 - I would have thought that the Patrol Report ( written at the time ) would carry far more evidential weight than allegations that surfaced years later.

What will be the verdict in the court of Arrse?

It is fairly obvious that certain members of the court of ARRSE* believe he is guilty and if the Judge finds in Robert-Smiths favour and awards him $20 million in damages it will be because Robert-Smith bullied the Judge :) :) ( Apparently he can bully people from Trooper right up to Staff Officer ) :rolleyes::rolleyes:

It would also be fair to say that there is a fair few ( who claim to have been Officers ) that I hold my hands up and say thank Gawd, any Gawd, that I never served with the melts.

My 2nd point has far more serious repercussions

If the Judge rules in Robert-Smiths favour - And that the Media's truth was actually a combination of Wives club rumours / jealousy / payback / rivalry - Where does that leave the Brereton report ?

* This member of the Court of ARRSE has no idea if Robert-Smith is guilty or innocent - However, I have read nothing that proves he is guilty.

* This member of the Court of ARRSE does not know Robert-Smith and has never met him

* This member of the Court of ARRSE has said right from the start that this smacks of Australia's version of Phil Shiner / IHAT.
 
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What follows might be of interest to the few people still following this thread. I have been watching the court case and trying to be objective, but the one thing which strikes me now is that win, lose or draw, half the witnesses must have been lying, ie committing perjury, or even colluding which could be conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In today's Weekend Australian (a fairly coherent, middle of the road paper), in an article titled War hero Ben Roberts-Smith has been wounded whatever the result, journalist Stephen Rice sums up. I won't copy in the whole article, just relevant paragraphs. I'll add the link but it is paywalled, but some of you may be smart enough to get around that.

After 99 days of hearings and $30m tipped into the pockets of lawyers, the de facto war crimes trial of Ben Roberts-Smith has come to a close.​
It was a battle of his own choosing but the war hero has come out of it badly wounded, with a verdict still months away.​
Defamation cases are unruly beasts that have a habit of heading off in directions no one predicted. Ask Christian Porter and Craig McLachlan.​
This one charged out of the gate head-first into a series of killings in Afghanistan, trampling over the testimony of a dozen SAS witnesses, then swerved back home to carve a path of destruction through the Victoria Cross recipients’ marriage and his extramarital affair, before pulling up in his own backyard to dig up a pink children’s lunch box and its hoard of secrets.​
And that was all before the 43-year-old former SAS soldier called his own witnesses.​
The trial has at least gone the distance, unlike the Porter case, which the former attorney-general gave up before it ever properly got going, and the McLachlan case, which the actor abandoned just as the defence was about to bring on its 11 witnesses.​
Both decided to cut their losses and walk away with hefty legal bills, but neither had the deep pockets and even deeper loyalty of Roberts-Smith’s employer and patron, billionaire media mogul Kerry Stokes.​
Roberts-Smith may be wondering if that was a blessing or a curse. Whatever judge Anthony Besanko finds when he hands down his judgment later this year, a parade of SAS soldiers has given eyewitness accounts of the VC recipients’ alleged involvement in murder.​
Roberts-Smith has denied all the claims, and plenty of other soldiers have given evidence backing him. But the headlines have been merciless. Vindication, if it arrives, will have come at a heavy price.​
And many witnesses in this case have lied. The conflicting accounts of what happened in the two central SAS missions at issue in the trial are irreconcilable.
You don’t forget or mistake seeing one of your comrades fire a machine gun into the back of a detained, unarmed man. You either saw it or you made it up.​
You don’t crawl into a Taliban tunnel armed only with a pistol and forget or mistake finding two Afghan males hiding in it – men allegedly executed minutes later. You’ve either lied about it or there were no men in the tunnel.​
Yet each of the SAS soldiers who told these stories – one on behalf of the newspapers, the other for Ben Roberts-Smith – were compelling witnesses, plainly spoken men who seemed to give earnest, detailed accounts. The judge will need to work through dozens of such conundrums.​
The last weeks of the trial have been overshadowed by allegations of collusion between a small inner circle of Roberts-Smith’s witnesses, a potentially fatal blow for his case.​
Equally, Roberts-Smith's lawyers have spent dozens of hours probing the newspapers’ witnesses for acknowledgment they were motivated by jealousy for Roberts-Smith’s VC award, or simply by outright dislike of the soldier, a hard task-master who by his own admission once punched a subordinate in the face for wildly shooting in the direction of a woman and child. (To be fair, he is also alleged to have threatened to smash in the face of a superior officer, although Roberts-Smith has denied making the threat.)​
Sources close to Kerry Stokes say he remains convinced of Roberts-Smith’s innocence and is determined to fight the case to the end.​
Equally, Nine cannot just walk away from two of its star journalists, Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters.​
An appeal is almost inevitable, and is guaranteed to prolong the pain for all.​
Put your money on the judge getting it right first time around.​
 
It was a battle of his own choosing but the war hero has come out of it badly wounded, with a verdict still months away.

I don't really think it was a battle of his own choosing - Nine started the battle by publishing articles that may or may not have been true.

You don’t crawl into a Taliban tunnel armed only with a pistol and forget or mistake finding two Afghan males hiding in it – men allegedly executed minutes later. You’ve either lied about it or there were no men in the tunnel.

Only one man went into the tunnel - He said there was no-one in it but found a cache of arms. If there were 2 men in the tunnel with a cache of arms, they would have been shot in the tunnel.

a hard task-master who by his own admission once punched a subordinate in the face for wildly shooting in the direction of a woman and child.

TBF - I don't think he punched a soldier in the face for shooting wildly at a woman and child ( although it would have been deserved - You don't fire at unidentified targets ) he punched him for laughing about it.

As far as the main witnesses for Nine or the witnesses for Robert - Smith - I have given my thoughts in #690

And as someone else alluded to above - the only winners to come out of this, will be the lawyers who are pocketing $ millions.

ETA

Would Nine not have been better served taking their dossier of heinous crimes to Law Enforcement rather than splash headlines that might now bite them on the ARRSE ?

That's rhetorical ;) ;)
 
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What follows might be of interest to the few people still following this thread. I have been watching the court case and trying to be objective, but the one thing which strikes me now is that win, lose or draw, half the witnesses must have been lying, ie committing perjury, or even colluding which could be conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

In today's Weekend Australian (a fairly coherent, middle of the road paper), in an article titled War hero Ben Roberts-Smith has been wounded whatever the result, journalist Stephen Rice sums up. I won't copy in the whole article, just relevant paragraphs. I'll add the link but it is paywalled, but some of you may be smart enough to get around that.

After 99 days of hearings and $30m tipped into the pockets of lawyers, the de facto war crimes trial of Ben Roberts-Smith has come to a close.​
It was a battle of his own choosing but the war hero has come out of it badly wounded, with a verdict still months away.​
Defamation cases are unruly beasts that have a habit of heading off in directions no one predicted. Ask Christian Porter and Craig McLachlan.​
This one charged out of the gate head-first into a series of killings in Afghanistan, trampling over the testimony of a dozen SAS witnesses, then swerved back home to carve a path of destruction through the Victoria Cross recipients’ marriage and his extramarital affair, before pulling up in his own backyard to dig up a pink children’s lunch box and its hoard of secrets.​
And that was all before the 43-year-old former SAS soldier called his own witnesses.​
The trial has at least gone the distance, unlike the Porter case, which the former attorney-general gave up before it ever properly got going, and the McLachlan case, which the actor abandoned just as the defence was about to bring on its 11 witnesses.​
Both decided to cut their losses and walk away with hefty legal bills, but neither had the deep pockets and even deeper loyalty of Roberts-Smith’s employer and patron, billionaire media mogul Kerry Stokes.​
Roberts-Smith may be wondering if that was a blessing or a curse. Whatever judge Anthony Besanko finds when he hands down his judgment later this year, a parade of SAS soldiers has given eyewitness accounts of the VC recipients’ alleged involvement in murder.​
Roberts-Smith has denied all the claims, and plenty of other soldiers have given evidence backing him. But the headlines have been merciless. Vindication, if it arrives, will have come at a heavy price.​
And many witnesses in this case have lied. The conflicting accounts of what happened in the two central SAS missions at issue in the trial are irreconcilable.
You don’t forget or mistake seeing one of your comrades fire a machine gun into the back of a detained, unarmed man. You either saw it or you made it up.​
You don’t crawl into a Taliban tunnel armed only with a pistol and forget or mistake finding two Afghan males hiding in it – men allegedly executed minutes later. You’ve either lied about it or there were no men in the tunnel.​
Yet each of the SAS soldiers who told these stories – one on behalf of the newspapers, the other for Ben Roberts-Smith – were compelling witnesses, plainly spoken men who seemed to give earnest, detailed accounts. The judge will need to work through dozens of such conundrums.​
The last weeks of the trial have been overshadowed by allegations of collusion between a small inner circle of Roberts-Smith’s witnesses, a potentially fatal blow for his case.​
Equally, Roberts-Smith's lawyers have spent dozens of hours probing the newspapers’ witnesses for acknowledgment they were motivated by jealousy for Roberts-Smith’s VC award, or simply by outright dislike of the soldier, a hard task-master who by his own admission once punched a subordinate in the face for wildly shooting in the direction of a woman and child. (To be fair, he is also alleged to have threatened to smash in the face of a superior officer, although Roberts-Smith has denied making the threat.)​
Sources close to Kerry Stokes say he remains convinced of Roberts-Smith’s innocence and is determined to fight the case to the end.​
Equally, Nine cannot just walk away from two of its star journalists, Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters.​
An appeal is almost inevitable, and is guaranteed to prolong the pain for all.​
Put your money on the judge getting it right first time around.​
A very one sided account in support of the media. BRS had no option but to take it to court. Luckily Kerry Stokes had the moral courage and conviction to support him. What was BRS went to do? just let Masters and McKenzie get on with it? It wouldn't have stoped their would it? Other journos would be digging around for stories.

Masters was embedded with SOTG in Afghanistan and wrote a very sycophantic book about them called No Front Line in 2017. He then decided to cash in further by getting a string of anonymous serving and ex SASR soldiers with a grudges against BRS to dish the dirt against him in the press expecting no come backs. A classic case of the Australian cutting down tall poppies. And there isn't a taller poppy than BRS in more ways than one. Most of the media witnesses had to be subponaed to attend. If any of them colluded it was them. Most of them had less than stella careers in SASR with a couple of them being kicked out. One of them even tried to steal the glory by saying that he should have won the VC not BRS, despite numerous witnesses who supported the citation. Another tried to cast doubt on BRS's actions by downplaying the action despite not witnessing it and admitting that he wasn't brave enough to go forward and support him and his team.

By contrast only one of BRS was subonaed and that was the Trp Cmdr of the 2009 Whiskey 108 mission, now CO SASR. Three of his witnesses were completely independent. None of the medias witnesses were. Independent witnesses are worth there weight in gold in any court case - civil or criminal and will make or break a case. Most of BRS's witneses have had successful careers, both inside and outside SASR including two former SBS Royal Marines who subsequently joined SASR.

It seems that Masters and McKenzie went for their story and decided to consolidate it by only interviewing witnesses that backed up their stories. If they lose, their careers are finished and the integrity of the press (stop laughing in the back row please) will have suffered an even bigger blow. Judge Besanko has a reputation of not being very friendly towards the press and this is apparently his last case. Although I am sure he will judge the case scrupulously. He seems to have been very fair to both sides so far.
 
There were two former SBS Royal Marines who subsequently joined SASR?
Yes, person 27 who was BRS's PC in the action in which he was awarded the VC, who was himself awarded the Star of Gallantry. The award just below the VC (you yourself published his profile in post #681) and person 39.
 
What do you think how this will affect future NATO/Western military intervention in the future, please?
Its a personal defamation trial in a civil court. Australia aren't in Nato and I doubt if it will affect Western intervention in any way in the future. Instituitional memories are very short and we are good at making the same mistakes again and again.
 

WhiteCrane

War Hero
Its a personal defamation trial in a civil court. Australia aren't in Nato and I doubt if it will affect Western intervention in any way in the future. Instituitional memories are very short and we are good at making the same mistakes again and again.
But maybe being more 'careful' and getting a grip on them for a start.A less aggressive pace and Lawers in base camps, maybe?
 

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