In a landmark defamation case, highly decorated Australian soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has been unsuccessful in his lawsuit against three newspapers that accused him of committing war crimes in Afghanistan. The publications were sued for multiple articles that also alleged Roberts-Smith bullied his peers and assaulted a woman with whom he was involved in an extramarital affair. This is the first instance in which a court has evaluated war crime allegations against Australian forces.
The judge stated that the extensive civil trial demonstrated the murder allegations, which Roberts-Smith denied, were substantially accurate. However, no criminal charges have been brought against him, and no findings have been made against him in a criminal court. Roberts-Smith was not present for the judgement on Thursday.
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