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Media Statement - 1 June 2023

Media Statement

1 June 2023

Australian Special Air Service Association

Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG Judgement

The ASASA welcomes Hon Anthony Besanko’s judgement today.

National Chairman Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith, speaking on behalf of SAS veterans said.

‘This case has no bearing on whether anyone is guilty or not guilty of a war crime; it has been about

whether or not Ben Roberts Smith was defamed.”

“We look forward to the Office of the Special Investigator proceeding promptly with any further

criminal charges so that all sides of the story can be heard, and the truth established in accordance

with due process”.

“Accusations are not facts and charges are not convictions. Any soldier charged deserves the

presumption of innocence.”

“The ASASA stands by all our veterans, those who have raised concerns about events on operations

and who are subject to accusations of acting unlawfully. All were victims of a mismanaged war and

poor decisions made in Canberra during and after the fighting.”

“The trial by accusation of this matter in the media and the decision by government and the Chief or

the Defence Force General Angus Campbell to publicly air the accusations in the IGADF Brereton

Inquiry before due process, to punish soldiers and to remove awards for distinguished service on the

field of battle, has had the effect of presuming guilt, vilifying Special Forces Regiments, diminishing

the service of the ANZAC’s of Afghanistan and hurting veterans and their families."

Hon Martin Hamilton-Smith

National Chairman

The Australian Special Air Service Association

M: +61 (0) 408854707


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