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Nick McKenzie Unfolds The Story About Ben Roberts-Smith In His New Book

Last month, Ben Roberts-Smith lost one of the biggest defamation trials in Australian history and was found to be a war criminal to a civil standard. 

The judge ruled that the stories Nick McKenzie had published in Nine Newspapers in 2017 and 2018 about the Victoria Cross-winning SAS soldier were substantially true.

In a podcast interview, McKenzie discussed his emotions during a pivotal moment outside the court, where he referred to Roberts-Smith as a “bully, liar, and war criminal.”

Mr McKenzie revealed that his overwhelming feelings at the time were a mix of exhaustion, exhilaration, and anxiety. 

He wanted to highlight the real heroes of the court case, the soldiers, whistleblowers, witnesses, and Afghan villagers who stood up for justice. 

On today’s episode of The Briefing, this Walkley Award-winning journalist joins us in the podcast to discuss his new book, Crossing the Line.

Mr McKenzie said he had faced enormous threats and intense pressure during the six-year-long saga.

I was leaked secret tape recordings, and on one of the recordings, he (Ben Roberts-Smith) says, I’m going to do everything in my power to destroy McKenzie and (Chris) Masters, my journalistic colleague,”

Mr McKenzie said.

So he wanted, there’s no doubt, to use the resources of a billionaire. Kerry Stokes, who had his back and all the dirty tricks of the Special Forces, tried to not just destroy us but also to come after anyone who challenged him,”

he added.

While criminal charges against Roberts-Smith are yet to be brought forward, McKenzie noted that the judge found him to be a war criminal based on the civil standard of proof. 

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The journalist said that the defamation case brought against him by Roberts-Smith had increased the likelihood of criminal charges being filed.

From Australia to Afghanistan and from the newsroom to the courtroom, his new book, “Crossing the Line”, depicted the complete story behind the Roberts-Smith case and the fight to investigate allegations of war crimes and murder.

There will be investigations into Ben Roberts-Smith for years, and it’s not just that he was found to have engaged or participated in summary executions; in our case, that’s what the judge found,”

he said.

But there are many other allegations he’s also facing. So, I mean, you could not find a man under more investigation right now in Australia than Ben Roberts-Smith.”

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