Ben Roberts-Smith’s authorized staff denies former soldier is in relationship with lawyer
Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith’s authorized staff has categorically denied the previous soldier is in a relationship with a feminine lawyer concerned in his defamation motion in opposition to media shops over claims of battle crimes in Afghanistan.
Mr Roberts-Smith is suing three newspapers owned by 9 over media studies from 2018 associated to his SAS excursions in Afghanistan, arguing they painted him as a battle felony who breached the ethical and authorized guidelines of army engagement.
He’s additionally suing over a declare that he assaulted a lady inside a Canberra resort room.
He denies all of the claims made in opposition to him, whereas the publishers are working a reality defence.
Mr Roberts-Smith has additionally launched civil proceedings in opposition to his ex-wife Emma Roberts and that matter was heard for case administration earlier than Justice Robert Bromwich on Wednesday.
The listening to was informed that Justice Bromwich had turn out to be conscious of media studies of “hearsay and innuendo” surrounding Mr Roberts-Smith and whether or not he was in a private relationship with a feminine lawyer, not named in courtroom, linked to the deposition of an affidavit.
The courtroom was informed it was a probably “embarrassing” scenario and anxious whether or not a “purely skilled relationship” existed between Mr Roberts Smith and the solicitor.
Justice Bromwich mentioned he wasn’t conscious of the article till he got here throughout it himself, describing the media report as “one thing I ought to have been informed about”.
“I am stunned this wasn’t raised instantly with me,” he mentioned.
After a brief adjournment to hunt directions, Mr Roberts-Smith’s barrister, Arthur Moses, informed the courtroom no relationship existed between Mr Roberts-Smith and the solicitor.
“I will say this … the applicant and the deponent aren’t in a relationship full cease,” Mr Moses informed the courtroom.
“Your Honour raised it with me in open courtroom, the solicitor was in a closed courtroom coping with nationwide safety info earlier than Justice Besanko, I had no discover of Your Honour elevating that concern with me.”
The courtroom heard that the article raised by Justice Bromwich earlier within the day might have been a current Australian Monetary Overview gossip column.
“It sought to lift various assertions in relation to a solicitor … performing for the applicant,” Mr Moses mentioned of the AFR article.
Ben Roberts Smith (left) leaves the Federal Court docket in Sydney on Wednesday, 9 June. 2021.
Mr Moses hit out at media studies that sought “to forged aspersions on the integrity” of attorneys performing for a celebration within the high-profile case.
“That might represent a possible harassment and belittling of a feminine practitioner,” he mentioned.
“If somebody desires to counsel that there has not been full and frank disclosure in an affidavit … that allegation might be made.”
He mentioned the difficulty had turn out to be the topic of intensive media reporting on Wednesday inflicting “embarrassment and concern to an officer of this courtroom”.
The case administration listening to was informed the motion in opposition to Ms Roberts revolves round acquiring an order for her to ship up supplies, and to offer an affidavit.
It heard that the motion arose after a “discover to provide” was issued within the media defamation case asking for materials that the applicant says got here from his emails.
“We have to know what occurred with that info,” Mr Moses mentioned.
Mr Roberts-Smith launched his defamation case in 2018 following various media studies he says accused him of homicide throughout his 2009 to 2012 tour of Afghanistan.
The defamation trial, at present in its first week, was adjourned for the day on Wednesday and can resume earlier than Justice Anthony Besanko on Thursday.
The previous SAS corporal is predicted to be the primary witness to be known as.