Serious claim about Ben Roberts-Smith’s most private emails
Ben Roberts-Smith’s lawyers have accused his ex-wife Emma Roberts of accessing the veteran’s email more than 100 times, as the case between the former couple continues in court.
The case is running at the same time as his defamation proceedings against several newspapers.
During the defamation case, Mr Roberts-Smith’s opponents issued a notice to produce specific documents.
His legal team suspects the notice may have been issued following access to an email address he used for confidential correspondence.
They have accused Ms Roberts of accessing the account and passing confidential information on to third parties, with Telstra records suggesting a close friend of Ms Roberts may have accessed the account.
Arthur Moses SC, Mr Roberts-Smith’s barrister, applied to add Ms Roberts’ best friend Danielle Scott and her husband as respondents in the case currently being heard in the Federal Court.
Mr Moses claimed that Telstra records established that either Ms Scott or her husband accessed a “hosting account” of RS Group Australia, the company Mr Roberts-Smith owns.
He told the court the account was accessed “on at least 101 occasions” between January 2020 and May 2021.
“The RS Group Australia email hosting account … is password-protected and enables a person, once logged on, to access the email account of any RS Group user, including the applicant’s,” Mr Moses said.
The accusations come after Mr Roberts-Smith previously swore in an affidavit that neither Ms Scott or her husband had been given the password.
Mr Moses said the Telstra records raised new issues, such as how the couple found the password, whether they had accessed Mr Roberts-Smith’s specific account, or whether they had shared confidential information with other parties.
“If Ms Scott and her husband are not joined to these proceedings then the applicant [Mr Roberts-Smith] would have a basis to commence separate proceedings against them,” Mr Moses said.
He continued, saying he would have included the pair as respondents when the case began, had his client been aware of the records.
Justice Robert Bronwich reserved his decision.
The defamation trial against the newspapers is currently on hold until at least November 1, and is expected to continue into 2022.
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