Ben Roberts Smith who is officially known as Benjamin Roberts-Smith is an Australian soldier, a Knight of the Victoria Cross for Australia, and a corporal in the Australian Army. He was born in Perth, Western Australia on November 1, 1978. These days, his defamation trial sees a SAS soldier called Person 4 confirming that Ben Roberts-Smith kicked an unarmed Afghan off a cliff, while Benjamin Roberts-Smith lawyer’s claims that these confirmations were an act of jealousy.
Where Is Ben Roberts Smith Now? 8 Things To Know!
1. He comes from a military family:
Ben Roberts Smith was born in November 1978 in Perth, Western Australia as Benjamin Roberts-Smith. In 1996 he enlisted in the Australian Army after graduating from school, where he successfully went in for sports. The Australian soldier graduated from the University of Queensland in 2016 after he came back from war.
2. Ben Roberts Smith’s career beginnings in 2003:
As part of the Royal Australian Regiment, Ben served in East Timor and Malaysia, including in peacekeeping missions. He transferred to the Australian Special Forces in 2003 and also the Special Air Service Regiment.
3. Ben Roberts Smith’s life and career in 2006:
The Australian soldier served in Fiji, in Iraq, and in 2006 he was sent to Afghanistan for the first time.
On May 31, 2006, the Australian soldier as part of an Australian patrol, landed in a mountainous area near the Khora Pass which is located in Uruzgan Wilayat. Here, Ben Roberts Smith coordinated air support for allied forces in clashes with the Taliban. In view of the continuous attempts to detect the patrol by the militants, on June 2 he actually led the defense of the Australian observation post and repulsed the attack before the arrival of air support. For these actions, on November 22 of the same year, Ben Roberts Smith was awarded the medal “For Courage”.
4. Continued career and the Victoria Cross:
On June 11, 2010, he participated in the assault on the village of Tizak which is called Kandahar with the aim of killing or capturing one of the Taliban commanders.
He led the patrol to cover Under enemy fire, which he soon left, and diverted the enemy’s fire to himself, allowing his colleagues to regain the initiative in battle.
The Australian soldier personally suppressed two machine-gun points of the militants out of three, and then, together with a friend, took the enemy fortifications by storm. For these actions on January 23, 2011, he was awarded the Victoria Cross, Australia’s highest combat award.
Two years later, he retired with the rank of Corporal in 2013. As a result of his military service, on January 26, 2014, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Commendation for a number of actions in the battles with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
5. How many times was Ben Roberts Smith in Afghanistan?
In total, the Australian soldier was on business trips to Afghanistan six times.
6. Becoming GM of Seven West Media television corporation:
After his resignation, Ben Roberts Smith went into business, made a career in the Seven West Media television corporation, becoming the general manager of its branches “Seven Queensland” and “Seven Brisbane”.
7. Controversies with the media for serious allegations:
For a long time as a corporal in the Australian Army amongst other accolades he enjoyed the same respect of society, was considered the most famous soldier in Australia, being one of the four living Australian holders of the Victoria Cross. But over the past years, in the wake of journalistic publications, an investigation was initiated by the Inspector General of the Australian Defense Force.
As of March 2022, tensions have boiled over in the Ben Roberts-Smith trial where he supposedly told other soldiers to lie about him kicking an unarmed, handcuffed Afghan man off a cliff. The whole controversy started boiling when between 2017-2018, Ben Roberts Smith became the subject of a number of journalistic investigations on the commission of war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan and the media stated that Ben Roberts-Smith may be involved in seven killings of Afghans.
Following media allegations, Ben Roberts-Smith filed several reputation protection lawsuits against news outlets in the Federal Court of Australia in 2018. After the wake of journalistic publications, an investigation was initiated by the Inspector General of the Australian Defense Force, who in 2020 concluded that several Australian soldiers were involved in the illegal massacres of Afghans.
The name of Roberts-Smith is not contained in the report, but he himself identified himself as a defendant in the investigation. Since there is no official information about the commission of war crimes by Roberts-Smith, the trial goes on including the conduct of investigative actions against him.
8. Where is Ben Roberts-Smith now?
Now that we’ve caught you up with the life story and media allegations of Australia’s most decorated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith, let’s look at how his trial seems to progress as of March 2022.
These days Ben Roberts-Smith is seen in Sydney’s Federal Court for his defamation trial, and most recently, a SAS soldier, testified Ben Roberts-Smith kicked an unarmed Afghan off a cliff. A decorated SAS soldier known as Person 4 says he was “manipulated” by Mr. Roberts-Smith’s enemies and was under questioning so heated, the judge intervened to break the tensions rising.
Person 4 told the Federal Court that he saw Mr. Roberts-Smith tell a group of soldiers “I kicked that c*** off the cliff”. Tension boiled when Mr. Roberts-Smith’s barrister Arthur Moses SC said to Person 4, that it was a fantasy, to which the soldier responded: “That is not correct”.
Australia’s most worshiped soldier’s defamation trial began when he sued Nine and its journalists over allegations he was involved in the unlawful killing of six unarmed Afghans while deployed in Afghanistan.
Mr. Roberts-Smith was accused of kicking a handcuffed shepherd down a cliff before another soldier executed the injured Afghan. While the allegations against Mr. Roberts-Smith may be true or false, he denies every allegation while Nine maintains they are true.
Person 4 told the court, in late Feb 2022, that he witnessed Mr. Roberts-Smith kick Mr Jan, in the chest during the Darwan raid. Following this, Person 4 helped drag Mr. Jan across a dry creek bed and was standing just meters away as another SAS soldier, Person 11, shot Mr. Jan dead in front of Ben Roberts Smith.