‘Nightmare’: Ben Roberts-Smith says reports he murdered unarmed civilian are ‘outright malicious’
Accused soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has denied outright the most dramatic murder alleged against him – that he kicked an unarmed, handcuffed Afghan civilian off a cliff before ordering him shot – telling a court the accusation was false and “outright malicious”.
“It feels like you’re in a bloody nightmare,” he told the court during an excoriating day of evidence. “Every time they write it I wonder: ‘how am I in this position?’”
The alleged murder of an Afghan farmer named Ali Jan, in the village of Darwan on 11 September 2012, has become a centrepiece of a suite of allegations of wrongdoing levelled against Roberts-Smith in articles published by three Australian newspapers in 2018.
In the newspapers’ defence documents before court, it is alleged that Ali Jan had been handcuffed during an SAS raid on Darwan. As helicopters were coming to “extract” the Australian soldiers, Roberts-Smith allegedly took Ali Jan to the edge of a small cliff and forced him into a kneeling position.
Roberts-Smith is then alleged to have “kicked him hard in the midriff causing him to fall …
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