News articles ‘destroyed’ Ben Roberts-Smith’s reputation, barrister says

News articles ‘destroyed’ Ben Roberts-Smith’s reputation, barrister says

"We never expected that our son would be unfairly attacked in this manner after he served his country in Afghanistan with distinction and risked his life".

Ben Roberts-Smith's relationship with one of his solicitors has been questioned by a judge. Campbell said the soldiers would then plant weapons and radios to support false claims that the prisoners were enemies killed in action.

The parents of Ben Roberts-Smith, Len and Sue Roberts-Smith depart the Federal Court of Australia.

But Mr McClintock said the effect of the articles was to "smash and destroy that reputation", arguing that aggravated damages were being sought to "vindicate the applicant in the eyes of the public".

'I'm feeling good mate, looking forward to finally setting the record straight, ' Mr Roberts-Smith told Daily Mail Australia ahead of the hearing.

"It's the kind of thing that would be said by an ostentatious psychopath", Mr McClintock said.

The barrister said Mr Roberts-Smith was absolutely not that.

"My client will give evidence that he was an adult".

Mr McClintock said that it was not rare for disabled Taliban fighters to be present on the battlefield.

Bruce McClintock, SC, is acting for Mr Roberts-Smith.

Sydney Morning Herald editor Lisa Davies and Nine's Executive Editor of Australian Metro Publishing James Chessell leave Federal Court.

Recently, Nine dropped a seventh murder allegation they had meant to rely on in court.

Nine withdrew the allegation it was unlawful just one month before the trial without an apology, Mr McClintock said.

Nine Entertainment Co, the media giant which now owns the old Fairfax outlets, is defending their journalists' claims on the basis the allegations are true.

He told the court the woman, who can not be named, was so drunk she'd fallen down the stairs.

Ben Roberts-Smith and his former wife Emma Roberts.

"This is a case about courage, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice", Mr McClintock said in reference to his client.

Mr Roberts-Smith launched the Federal Court civil action in 2018 over media reports he says accused him of murder during his 2009 to 2012 tour of Afghanistan.

"This allegation of domestic violence is false".

The newspapers will plead that Mr Roberts-Smith was complicit in and responsible for the murders of six people in Afghanistan, and that those alleged actions constituted war crimes.

He said other soldiers, one who was described in court as a "total failure" as a soldier, developed "enormous jealousy" at Mr Roberts-Smith's military awards and his Victoria Cross.

He was a soldier who "deservedly had a high reputation of courage, skill and decency".

Mr McClintock has suggested her appearance is about airing the family's "dirty laundry" and warned he will have to call Ms Roberts a "liar". "Person 10 turned out to be a poor soldier".

Mr McClintock said Person 1 woke up in the middle of the night, while in enemy territory, having a night terror.

Then Mr Roberts-Smith's team will call evidence from his other witnesses, understood to include other SAS soldiers.

Roberts-Smith would deny allegations of bullying and an allegation that an enemy insurgent killed on a patrol was aged 13 or 14.

Person 10, the court heard, fired bursts of his machine gun but would not answer when Mr Roberts-Smith asked what he was shooting at.

Following Mr McClintock's opening address, which will likely run until the end of Tuesday, it is expected the court will hear from Mr Roberts-Smith as the first witness.

Ben Roberts-Smith is seeking the largest damages ever, the court heard. Roberts-Smith stormed the enemy position without any regard for his personal safety, took control of an enemy machine-gun position, and then kept going, allowing his unit to drive Taliban forces out of the area.

"The potential impact of killing an innocent woman and child, not just on the SAS and our country generally, but on Person 10 himself would have been a disaster". The trial commenced Monday after two and a half years of preparations and pre-trial legal maneuvers.

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