CANBERRA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) — Australia’s most decorated former soldier is under investigation for alleged war crimes according to the local media report.
Nine Entertainment Co. on Sunday night identified Ben Roberts-Smith, a recipient of the Victoria Cross, as one of the soldiers being investigated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for war crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan in 2012.
It is alleged that Roberts-Smith kicked Afghan farmer Ali Jan, who was handcuffed at the time, off a cliff. Another soldier is suspected of then shooting Jan dead.
It was reported by newspapers owned by Nine recently that AFP detectives have travelled to Afghanistan to gather eyewitness testimonies from people in the village. The AFP’s trip to Afghanistan is the first time the agency has ever deployed detectives overseas to investigate alleged war crimes involving Australian soldiers, the report said.
Roberts-Smith has denied all wrongdoing and initiated defamation proceedings against Nine.
“I categorically deny the allegations made against me in tonight’s 60 Minutes program,” he said in a statement, referring to the segment on Nine’s 60 minutes program on Sunday night.
“I am concerned that tonight’s story and the previous publications by the SMH/Age (The Sydney Morning Herald/The Age) are an attempt to improperly influence the outcome of the inquiry.”
LINK ORIGINAL: Xinhuanet