Ben Roberts-Smith will enter his tenth day in the witness box on Thursday at his landmark defamation trial against media outlets over allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, much of Mr Roberts-Smith’s evidence at the Federal Court trial was heard behind closed doors due to national security sensitivities, before the war hero resumed in open court under cross examination late in the day.
The Victoria Cross winner, 42, is expected to continue testifying in open session when he resumes in the witness box on Thursday to face further questions from the respondents’ lawyer Nicholas Owens SC.
Mr Owens on Wednesday quizzed Mr Roberts-Smith about several issues that took place after his exit from the military, including a 2017 police raid on a former SAS soldier’s residence and an allegedly threatening letter from 2018 sent to another SAS veteran.
The barrister also asked Mr Roberts-Smith about the burning of a laptop in June 2018 and his alleged involvement that same year in obtaining “burner phones” through a third party.
Earlier this week, Mr Roberts-Smith denied claims of any involvement in two alleged killings of prisoners on an SAS mission at a compound in Afghanistan in 2009.
He rejects all claims of war crimes, murder and domestic violence against him while the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times advance a truth defence.
The former SAS operator’s legal team has previously argued that he is the victim of a lying campaign by failed soldiers jealous of his glittering military career.
His barrister Bruce McClintock has claimed his client lost hundreds and thousands of dollars after his reputation was smashed by the media reports.
The trial continues before Justice Anthony Besanko.