Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial: witness tells court he liked Instagram post calling dead Afghan a ‘terrorist paedo’ | Australia news

A soldier witness referred to as through Ben Roberts-Smith in his defamation trial has advised the federal court docket he preferred social media posts that referred to as an Afghan civilian allegedly murdered through Australian infantrymen a “terrorist paedo”, and legal professionals concerned within the case “fuckwits” and “cunts”.

The court docket heard the previous SAS soldier, anonymised ahead of the court docket as Particular person 35, preferred an Instagram submit that stated:

“Amusing Information: Ali Jan and the gentleman that met Soldier C have been each Taliban, and, through default, terrorist p3dos.”

The submit says: #nothingofvaluewaslost

The newspapers allege Ali Jan was once an Afghan farmer detained through Australian infantrymen all over a raid at the village of Darwan in September 2012. They allege Ben Roberts-Smith kicked Ali Jan off a cliff whilst handcuffed and blindfolded ahead of ordering him shot.

Roberts-Smith has denied the allegation, pronouncing {that a} guy killed at the undertaking was once an enemy “spotter” legitimately killed in keeping with the principles of engagement. In his proof, he stated “there was once no cliff … there was once no kick”.

Roberts-Smith, a recipient of the Victoria Move, is suing the Age, the Sydney Morning Bring in and the Canberra Occasions for defamation over a chain of ­reviews he alleges have been defamatory and portrayed him as committing warfare crimes, together with homicide.

The newspapers are pleading a defence of reality. Roberts-Smith denies any wrongdoing.

Soldier C, referred to within the Instagram submit, was once an Australian SAS soldier, unrelated to this situation, filmed capturing an unarmed Afghan civilian mendacity in a box, the court docket was once advised through the newspapers’ barrister on Thursday. That guy’s demise isn’t a part of this defamation trial.

Beneath cross-examination, Particular person 35 stated he resented the general public scrutiny of Roberts-Smith’s movements in Afghanistan, with out broader interrogation of the tactic and prosecution of the warfare in Afghanistan.

“In case you’re going to query a soldier about what came about in another country, then you want to query the army about what came about in another country,” he stated.

“I to find it frightening his habits is being scrutinised.”

Particular person 35 additionally preferred an Instagram submit that stated:

“When some fuckwit in a go well with begins the usage of his fucktard snake good judgment he discovered getting his tonsils bruised through some lecturer’s spotty dick at their non-binary legislation college, take note something: that this cunt might be one of the most first to be held down and drowned in a muddy puddle for his fancy jacket.

“When society crumbles, it is going to be because of him and other folks like him considering all of us live to tell the tale fucking Sesame Boulevard and everybody adhering to their putrid mind-set. Like my boy, Rorschach stated, the collected dust of all their intercourse and homicide will foam up about their waists, and the entire whores and politicians will glance up and shout, ‘save us’ and I’ll whisper, ‘no’.”

Hermann Rorschach, the Swiss psychoanalyst, didn’t say the ones phrases. The quotes are from a fictional antihero personality of the similar identify within the comedian e-book collection and movie Watchmen.

Particular person 35 stated he “preferred a large number of posts” on Instagram and different social media posts, as “a little of darkish humour … I don’t assume it must be taken severely”.

All over a hectic alternate, Nicholas Owens SC, performing for the newspapers, put it to Particular person 35 the “fuckwit” in a complicated jacket was once him. Particular person 35 denied he was once speaking about Owens in particular.

“That’s a comic story,” Particular person 35 stated. “It’s intended to be humorous, and it’s intended to agitate and it sort of feels to have labored.”

Particular person 35 gave proof a few 2012 birthday party on the SAS’s unofficial on-base bar in Afghanistan, the Fats Women’ Hands. He advised the court docket he dressed up as a Ku Klux Klansman as a result of he didn’t wish to pay for a fancy dress ordered through mail, and may just make the dress himself.

Footage from the birthday party display him within the Klan dress, conserving a burning move.

He stated he was once no longer reprimanded for dressed in the dress. As a substitute, he advised the court docket: “I received the partiality get dressed festival that night time.

“I knew one different individual was once coming in blackface so I believed it could be humorous if I got here as a Klansman … [to] make amusing of the Klan itself, they’re beautiful pathetic, I used to be simply creating a comic story about it.”

In regards to the allegation that Roberts-Smith murdered Ali Jan in Darwan in 2012, Particular person 35 stated he didn’t imagine Roberts-Smith kicked Ali Jan off a cliff, however conceded ahead of court docket he was once no longer provide on the ultimate compound cleared all over the undertaking.

“I do know my pal Ben, and I do know he wouldn’t do this,” Particular person 35 stated.

“I will discuss to the person’s personality sure, and I don’t imagine he did that, I don’t. Used to be I in that closing compound? No, I used to be no longer there.”

Particular person 35 stated he supported Roberts-Smith, who he considered a chum, however denied a proposal from Owens he was once a partisan witness.

“I’ve selected an aspect, however I’m right here to inform the reality.”

He stated the warriors who were subpoenaed to testify through the newspapers had lied to the court docket.

“Your witnesses simply aren’t fair, they’re mendacity.”

Particular person 35 agreed he had preferred social media posts that described comrades who had spoken to the media as “rats” and “snitches”.

“Those that experience spoken to the media are mendacity.”

The court docket heard Particular person 35’s prison expenses are being paid through Channel Seven chairman Kerry Stokes. Particular person 35 stated he had by no means met Stokes, however stated he had requested Roberts-Smith, an worker of Stokes at Channel Seven, for help with prison illustration ahead of his interview through the inspector common of the Australian defence power, who was once investigating allegations of warfare crimes through Australian infantrymen.

Particular person 35 stated he “merely didn’t believe” unfastened legal professionals he was once presented through the defence power.

Particular person 35 stays within the witness field. The trial continues ahead of justice Anthony Besanko.

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