• Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith has denied the allegations. (AAP)Source: AAP
Australia's most decorated solider expresses "grave concerns" over a media report alleging misconduct and linking him to racist images featuring the Ku Klux Klan.
By
Stephanie Corsetti

Source:
NITV News
12 Apr 2021 - 12:44 PM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2021 - 12:44 PM

Afghanistan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith has been accused of concealing evidence of alleged war crimes, including unlawful killings. 

The report, published in the Nine newspapers and on 60 Minutes, included photos from a fancy-dress party depicting a soldier in a Ku Klux Klan outfit holding a noose.

It's alleged the photos from the parties hinted at one of the suspected killings, and that Mr Roberts-Smith was reportedly in possession of the images. 

Another image showed Ben Roberts-Smith in the background of a group photo where a cross was burning. 

In response to the media report, Ben Roberts-Smith has issued a denial statement about the claims on the 60 Minutes program. 

Ben Roberts-Smith has previously rejected any involvement in war crimes and suggested the latest media reporting was an attempt to intimidate him against proceeding with defamation action. 

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He said the journalist did not put the claims to him before broadcasting the report.

"Mr Roberts-Smith denies that he has engaged in any unlawful conduct and he will not be intimidated by Mr McKenzie or Nine into not continuing with the Federal Court proceedings against them," the statement said. 

The main federal court hearings will be held in June. 

"Mr McKenzie and Nine are currently respondents to defamation proceedings in the Federal Court," Mr Roberts-Smith's statement said.

"These allegations are not supported by any evidence filed by Mr McKenzie and Nine in what has been an extensive pre-trial process," he said in relation to the investigative reporter Nick McKenzie's report. 

Kerry Stokes was elected Chairman of the Australian War Memorial in 2015, while also serving as chairman of Seven West Media. 

Mr Roberts-Smith joined the Seven Network in 2012 and has been working as an executive. 

On social media, some opponents have been pushing for Mr Stokes to stand down from the War memorial position while others had hoped Ben Roberts-Smith would be stripped of his Victoria Cross medal. 

The Afghan veteran was involved in a hunt for a senior Taliban commander in 2019 and the Australian war memorial website states he has been recognised for his exceptional courage, leadership and mentoring.