AUSTRALIA’S most embellished Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith has denied significant allegations of bullying, intimidation and domestic violence released in a media post these days.
Corporal Roberts-Smith was thrust into the nationwide highlight in 2011 when he was awarded the Victoria Cross — Australia’s maximum armed service honour — for bravery underneath hearth in Afghanistan.
But these days he was pressured to protect his services file following statements place ahead in a Fairfax post.
“The post is made up of a catalogue of lies, fabrications and misrepresentations. It is the end result of quite a few months of destructive and hugely harmful allegations, all of which will be vigorously defended,” Corporal Roberts-Smith stated in a assertion launched by way of 7 West.
“I do want to say these days that I unequivocally deny any bodily abuse of any girl at any time at any time, and that I have not at any phase been interviewed by law enforcement about any purported grievance by any girl.”
Corporal Roberts-Smith stated he was deeply troubled that alleged proof offered to the Inspector-Common of the Australian Defence Power inquiry into the country’s particular forces, seems to have been accessed.
“Not only is it unlawful, it is unfair to persons who have not offered proof and it has the probable to undermine the fairness of the inquiry,” the assertion stated.
“If and when I am offered the possibility to protect just about every particular allegation, I am extremely assured that immediate witnesses will categorically display the falsity of them all.”
Corporal Roberts-Smith is the common supervisor of Seven’s Queensland functions, a part he was appointed to by Kerry Stokes following he stop the armed expert services and did a masters of organization administration in 2016.
Because leaving Australia’s Unique Air Support Regiment, a particular forces device of the Military, Corporal Roberts-Smith has turn out to be a celebrated determine who was named Australian Father of the Calendar year in 2013, chairman of the Australia Working day Council in 2015 as properly as deputy chairman of the Key Minister’s defence psychological wellness committee and veteran’s work committee.
He has campaigned versus “one punch” violence and is the general public deal with of the Keep Variety marketing campaign for Australians to search following susceptible mates.
In one particular specially highly effective graphic, Corporal Roberts-Smith comforted domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty when she acquired her Australian of the Calendar year award in 2015, an award that he served pick out her for.
On the subject he has acquired Medal for Gallantry and a Commendation for Distinguished Support, in addition to the VC.
But his distinguished services is now at danger of staying tarnished following significant allegations versus his perform have emerged.
Between the allegations are that the smaller SAS group Corporal Roberts-Smith served guide mistreated unarmed Afghans, that he allegedly bashed an unarmed Afghan and that he bullied two junior troopers in his patrol.
The allegations have reportedly occur from individuals within just the SAS and amongst individuals who experienced served with Corporal Roberts-Smith in patrols in Afghanistan.
Bullying statements contain that Corporal Roberts-Smith allegedly punched one particular soldier in the head following he produced a miscalculation on the battlefield, in accordance to witnesses.
Interior problems ended up reportedly produced versus him by at the very least one particular soldier, reportedly in excess of “years of bullying” that impacted his psychological wellness. The assert was at some point solved by mediation.
Numerous knowledgeable patrol commanders ended up reportedly worried about the therapy of the soldier as properly as other elements of Corporal Roberts-Smith’s mentoring and management in 2012.
Other disturbing allegations have also emerged about Corporal Roberts-Smith’s individual lifetime, which include that he dedicated an alleged act of domestic violence and intimidation versus a girl he was acquiring an affair with, primary to a grievance to law enforcement in Canberra previously this yr.
Fairfax Media implies it has invested virtually a yr interviewing dozens of veterans, officers and other people in advance of publishing the tale.
Key Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stated allegations would be dealt with correctly.
“I am conscious of the allegations, problems have been produced to law enforcement and they will be dealt with correctly,” the Key Minister instructed reporters in Perth on Friday.
“I simply cannot make any remark on the particular issues simply because they are staying dealt with by the law enforcement.”
Mr Turnbull stated the defence minister was updating him on the investigation into alleged misconduct in the particular forces.