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Ben Roberts-Smith's parents speak out

Ben Roberts-Smith's parents speak out

Ben Roberts-Smith’s parents have released a statement ahead of the high-profile defamation case involving their son.

“We never expected our son would be unfairly attacked in this manner, after he served his country in Afghanistan with distinction - and risked his life,” they said.

Mr Roberts-Smith is suing The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Canberra Times over articles he says accused him of committing war crimes during 2009 to 2012 tour of Afghanistan and assaulting a woman in Canberra in 2018.

The Victoria Cross recipient denies all claims made against him.

Mr Roberts-Smith’s parents Len and Sue said the allegations destroyed his life and have “affected us every day for the last several years”.

“It is a relief that Ben’s legal team have finally been able to get his case before the Federal Court,” they said in a statement.

“It will now be for the judge to hear the evidence and deliver judgement in due course.”

The trial is due to commence on Monday, June 7 and will be heard by Justice Anthony Besanko over an estimated eight to ten weeks.

A lengthy opening address is expected to be given by Mr Roberts-Smith barrister Bruce McClintock SC, before Mr Roberts-Smith is called as the first witness.

His former wife, Emma Roberts, was initially expected to give evidence on his behalf but will instead be a witness for Nine.

Witnesses will also include local and overseas soldiers.

While the case proceeds, the former special forces corporal will be on leave from his position as general manager of Channel Seven in Queensland.