Will Ben Roberts-Smith’s Memorabilia Be Removed From The Australian War Memorial?

The Australian War Memorial is facing calls to have Ben Roberts-Smith’s uniform removed from display after the Federal Court dismissed the defamation case he filed against three media outlets.

Justice Anthony Besanko said substantial and contextual truth defence had been established by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Canberra Times in articles published in 2018.

The articles alleged a number of crimes, of which some occured during Mr Roberts-SMith’s time ion Afghanistan. Justice Besanko found on the balance of probabilities, Mr Roberts-Smith was involved in the deaths of three people.

Justice Besanko’s findings brings an end to the year-long defamation trial.

While many politicians were hesitant to comment, the Greens said the defamation judgement was “an important win for fearless journalism in the public interest”.

“If this judgment stands, the first step in correcting the official record is for the Australian War Memorial to immediately remove Ben Roberts-Smith’s uniform from public display and to begin telling the entire truth of Australia’s involvement in that brutal war,” Greens’ defence and justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said in a Twitter thread.

“This is not justice for the families who lost loved ones or for the communities that have been brutalised by war crimes, but it takes us a step closer.”

The Australian War Memorial have yet made any comment.

The Herald Sun has reported Mr Roberts-Smith will appeal the decision, however this has not been confirmed by him or his legal team.

Arthur Moses SC, who acts for Mr Roberts-Smith, said he would assess the judgement, requesting an extension to appeal if that’s the decision made. The request was granted by the court.

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