Ausstralia’s most celebrated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is reportedly being investigated by the Australian Federal Police over allegations he committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Picture: Sky News.
Ausstralia’s most celebrated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is reportedly being investigated by the Australian Federal Police over allegations he committed war crimes in Afghanistan. Picture: Sky News.

AFP probe Ben Roberts-Smith war crime allegations

Australia's most celebrated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith is reportedly one of a number of men being investigated by the Australian Federal Police over allegations they committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

A spokesman this morning confirmed the AFP was investigating "allegations of war crimes committed by Australian soldiers during the Afghanistan conflict".

He refused to confirm reports by Fairfax Media today that Mr Roberts-Smith was one of the soldiers under investigation. The former soldier denies any wrongdoing.

"As this investigation is ongoing, the AFP will not confirm or deny the specific incidents or the identity of those subject to the investigation," he said.

 

Ben Roberts-Smith during the 2017 Anzac Day march through Melbourne CBD. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian
Ben Roberts-Smith during the 2017 Anzac Day march through Melbourne CBD. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian

 

Australia’s most decorated Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith with his wife Emma, on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Australia’s most decorated Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith with his wife Emma, on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

He confirmed the investigation was launched in June after the AFP received a request to look into the allegations but refused to comment further while the investigation was ongoing.

Fairfax Media reports that Chief of the Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Angus Campbell has been briefed on the investigation, along with the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force, which is conducting its own separate inquiry.

The separate inquiry, launched by the ADF Inspector-General in 2016, is reportedly investigating Mr Roberts-Smith and a small number of other special forces soldiers.

Details of the AFP inquiry have emerged as Fairfax continues to fight a defamation case brought by Mr Roberts-Smith over a series of reports about his actions in Afghanistan and a report about alleged domestic violence.

Mr Roberts-Smith denies all the allegations, and has been backed publicly by the director of the Australian War Memorial, Brendan Nelson, and its chairman, Kerry Stokes.