Benjamin Roberts-Smith is a former Australian Army soldier found in a civil court, on the balance of probabilities, to have committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
In 2017, a separate war crimes investigation examining “questions of unlawful conduct concerning (Australia’s) Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan” called Roberts-Smith’s actions in Afghanistan into question.
The Australian Federal Police began an inquiry into Roberts-Smith in November 2018 due to claims that he committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
In August 2018, Roberts-Smith filed a defamation lawsuit against the Nine Entertainment publications The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Canberra Times with the help of a legal team hired by Seven Network owner Kerry Stokes.
She also named the three journalists who she claimed were involved in reporting the alleged incidents. The trial got underway in Sydney’s Federal Court in June 2021. Judge Anthony Besanko dismissed Roberts-Smith’s defamation claim against the three newspapers in June 2023, concluding that the civil trial had sufficiently established Roberts-Smith’s guilt of the murder of three Afghan men and of violating military engagement regulations in a criminal manner.
Roberts-Smith was born in Perth, Western Australia, on November 1st, 1978. Len Roberts-Smith, a former justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court, and Sue Roberts-Smith raised him as their elder son. He obtained his Hale School diploma in 1995.
Opera singer Sam is his brother. At the age of 18, Roberts-Smith enlisted in the Australian Army in 1996. He underwent initial employment training at the School of Infantry at Lone Pine Barracks in Singleton, New South Wales, after finishing basic training at Blamey Barracks in Kapooka, New South Wales. The 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3 RAR) in Holsworthy, New South Wales, was where Roberts-Smith was sent from there.
He was first a rifle company member before rising to the position of section leader in the Direct Fire Support Weapons Platoon. Roberts-Smith deployed twice to East Timor with 3 RAR, the first time in 1999 as a member of the International Force East Timor.
Who are Ben Roberts-Smith parents?
Roberts-Smith was born to Sue and Len Roberts-Smith, a former justice of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. He graduated from Hale School in 1995. His brother, Sam, is an opera singer.