August 14, 2022

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Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial is about to get personal with his ex-wife due to step...

Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial is about to get personal with his ex-wife due to step into the witness box to give evidence against Australia’s most decorated living soldier. 
Emma Roberts, who dropped the Smith from her surname after their split, is expected to appear in person in the Federal Court in Sydney this week. 
Ms Roberts had initially been on her ex-husband’s side when he launched legal action against Nine newspapers after the publisher accused him of war crimes. 
She will now be called by Nine in its bid to prove Mr Roberts-Smith killed or was complicit in the murders of six prisoners while serving with the Special Air Service in Afghanistan. 

Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial is about to get personal with his ex-wife due to step into the witness box to give evidence against Australia’s most decorated soldier. Emma Roberts, who has dropped the Smith from her surname, will appear in the Federal Court this week 

Ms Roberts had initially been on her ex-husband’s side when he launched legal action against Nine newspapers after the publisher accused him of war crimes. She is pictured outside her Brisbane home

Mr Roberts-Smith took several swipes at his ex-wife while giving evidence in the defamation trial last June. 
‘It’s very sad that my my wife has involved herself in these proceedings, Your Honour,’ the Victoria Cross recipient told Justice Anthony Besanko.
‘And I take absolutely no joy in describing my wife in any way that is negative, but the reality is she is extremely bitter.
‘She has done things along the way that have been detrimental to my family, and particularly to me, because she thinks it will hurt me.’
Mr Roberts-Smith, 43, and Ms Roberts were together about 20 years and have twin 11-year-old daughters. She is a couple of years older than her ex-husband.
They settled their divorce in February last year and she gave a statement to Nine a month later outlining the evidence she would be prepared to give against him in court. 
Mr Roberts-Smith left Ms Roberts in January 2020 and the former couple sold their home on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast for more than $2million in December 2000.

Text messages sent by Ben Roberts-Smith’s former wife in support of the war hero before he was publicly accused of killing prisoners have been released. Ms Roberts has since flipped and is giving evidence for Nine newspapers. The former couple is pictured in London in 2012

The couple had rocky periods before they parted, with Mr Roberts-Smith admitting having an affair with a woman known in the trial as Person 17 from October 2017 until April the following year. 
Mr Roberts-Smith has given evidence he separated from his wife in September 2017 but they eventually reconciled. 
Ms Roberts is expected to deny there was any separation or having knowledge of his affair with Person 17 until it had finished. 
Nine will allege Mr Roberts-Smith asked his then wife to lie about the affair and say they were separated to protect him if the relationship ever became public. 
Ms Roberts’ lifelong friend Danielle Scott has said Ms Roberts told her about July 2019 she had lied in her initial outline of evidence about being separated from Mr Roberts-Smith during his affair with Person 17.
She had done that, according to Ms Scott, because Mr Roberts-Smith had ‘pressured to do so on the basis that if she didn’t, she would lose everything.’

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Mr Roberts-Smith took several swipes at his ex-wife while giving evidence in the defamation trial last June. ‘It’s very sad that my my wife has involved herself in these proceedings, Your Honour,’ he told Justice Anthony Besanko

Ms Roberts is expected to give evidence she became aware of her husband’s affair on April 6, 2018 when Person 17 came to the marital home.
That unannounced visit was about a week after Mr Roberts-Smith says Person 17 got so drunk she fell down the steps at a function in Parliament House.   
Nine alleges Mr Roberts-Smith punched Person 17 in the head in a Canberra hotel room later that evening, which he vehemently denies. 
Ms Scott states that on the day Person 17 revealed the affair to Ms Roberts she missed a number of calls from her friend.
She allegedly called back and had a conversation in words to the following effect.
Ms Scott: ‘Is everything ok?’
Ms Roberts: ‘Are you sitting down?’
Ms Scott: ‘Do I need to be?’
Ms Roberts: ‘Yes, I’m standing on my verandah and I’m looking at Ben’s girlfriend.’
Ms Roberts: ‘She has a big black eye.’
Ms Scott: ‘How did she get that?’
Ms Roberts: ‘I asked her the same thing, she said she [fell] down the stairs at parliament house.’

Mr Roberts-Smith had an affair with a woman known in the trial as Person 17 from October 2017 until April 2018. He claims he separated from his wife in September 2017 but Ms Roberts says that never happned. This picture was taken on December 31, 2017

Ms Roberts is expected to give evidence about allegations Nine has made that Mr Roberts-Smith buried evidence inside a pink lunch box in the couple’s backyard. 
Ms Roberts has indicated she will claim Mr Roberts-Smith buried six USB sticks holding hundreds of photographs taken in Afghanistan. 
Her friend Ms Scott says that some time before March 15, 2020 Ms Roberts told her she suspected Mr Roberts-Smith had buried something on their property.
When Ms Scott visited Ms Roberts about March 16 the pair allegedly looked in the backyard to see if they could find what had been buried.
According to Ms Scott the pair noticed a rock on the ground under a hose reel and dug under it using a pitchfork. About 10 to 15cm down they allegedly found a lunchbox containing six USBs inside a plastic snap-lock bag.
Ms Scott copied the contents of the USBs onto her computer, the pair placed them back in the bag and re-buried the lunchbox.
According to Ms Scott, she was later contacted by the Australian Federal Police and provided a copy of the contents of the USBs to that agency.
Ms Scott says that on June 5 Ms Roberts told her ‘Ben is coming over to collect some documents’ and the pair discussed the possibility he was talking about the USBs.

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A series of text messages between Emma Roberts and her friend Danielle Scott relate to evidence given by Mr Roberts-Smith’s fellow SAS member Person 5 to an inquiry into alleged war crimes in Afghanistan

After the call Ms Roberts sent Ms Scott four photographs taken of the area where they say the lunchbox had been buried.
Mr Roberts-Smith has denied burying the USBs in the lunch box.  
Text messages sent by Ms Roberts in support of her then husband before he was publicly accused of war crimes in June 2018 have also previously been released by the court. 
Ms Roberts says in one message to Ms Scott that ‘someone has said a hell of a lot about Ben but they also have to prove it.’
The texts from Ms Roberts to Ms Scott were sent a month before the first newspaper story was published. 
The contents of the texts were first read in July last year as Mr Roberts-Smith gave evidence about what another SAS member known as Person 5 had told an official war crimes inquiry.
Person 5 and Mr Roberts-Smith were both being investigated by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) at the time.
Person 5 had been Mr Roberts-Smith’s patrol commander in Afghanistan and was called in to be questioned by the IGADF on May 9, 2018.

Earning the Victoria Cross turned Mr Roberts-Smith into a celebrity solider. Ms Roberts met the Queen and dignitaries including Prime Minister Scott Morrison while accompanying her husband to functions around the country. He is pictured with his then wife and the Queen

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He had been due to fly to the United States after giving evidence to the inquiry. 
Barrister Nicholas Owens SC, for Nine, suggested Person 5 subsequently revealed to Mr Roberts-Smith ‘in very great detail’ various allegations that had been made about his service in Afghanistan.
The court heard discussing what was said during such interviews was against Defence regulations.
Mr Roberts-Smith told the court Person 5, who was a close friend, had merely sent him a letter of complaint about his treatment by the IGADF investigators.
Part of that letter said: ‘They were pushing the fact that BRS wandered off whenever he wanted and did whatever he wanted’ while on deployment in Afghanistan.
Mr Owens read from text messages Ms Roberts sent to Ms Scott after Person 5 gave evidence to the inquiry.

Ms Roberts has indicated she will claim Mr Roberts-Smith buried six USB sticks holding hundreds of photographs in a pink lunch box in the couple’s backyard, which he has denied. She took this picture to show where she claimed the lunch box was buried

‘Hey mate, [Person 5] rang BRS late [followed by a sad face emoji],’ the first message said. ‘He was drilled for hours! Lots of questions about Ben and even to the point of questioning his VC action [sad face].
‘Hence to say he didn’t get much sleep. [Person 5] was free to leave for the US with 5 hrs until his flight!!
Ms Scott: ‘So if they let [Person 5] go… that’s gotta be a good sign right?’ 
Ms Roberts: ‘Yeh. [followed by a thumbs-up emoji] It’s obvious that someone has said a hell of a lot about Ben. But they also have to be able to prove it.’
Mr Roberts-Smith has denied the texts showed he told his wife that Person 5 had disclosed detailed information about allegations against him which had been revealed while Person 5 was being interviewed.
‘It looks like she’s forming her own opinion which is reasonably typical of my ex-wife,’ he told the court.
Ms Scott has indicated she will also give evidence for Nine. Person 5 is listed to give evidence for Mr Roberts-Smith.        

Ms Roberts has indicated she will claim Mr Roberts-Smith (pictured in Afghanistan in 2009) buried six USB sticks holding hundreds of photographs taken in the country

 

Ben Roberts-Smith’s ‘bitter’ ex-wife Emma Roberts set to face the war hero in court appeared first on maserietv.com.