Kicked down a cliff: Afghan man says decorated Australian soldier killed his handcuffed uncle

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 26, 2021, 05:32 PM(IST)

Image for representation Photograph:( The New York Times )

Story highlights

Ben Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient and highly decorated Australian soldier, faces allegation that he kicked the witness's uncle down a cliff

An Afghan man, first Afghan witness of the alleged crime committed by a highly decorated Australian soldier told a court that he killed his uncle while he was handcuffed. He deposed before the court via a secure video link from Kabul.

Ben Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient and highly decorated Australian soldier, faces allegation that he kicked the witness's uncle down a steep embankment. The impact was so significant that his uncle's teeth broke.

Mohammed Hanifa Fatih, the witness, told the court that "a big soldier" kicked and killed his uncle Ali Jan. He was quoted by The Guardian.

Australian soldiers came to the village hunting for Hekmatullah, a rogue Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier who had killed three Australian soldiers a fortnight ago.

As per Fatih, his uncle was kicked in the chest which caused him to fall down the steep embankment. He was then dragged to an orchard. Fatih says that he then heard gunshots, which were allegedly fired by Roberts-Smith or by another soldier but under his orders.

Roberts-Smith denies all allegations. He is suing Sydney Morning Herald, the Age and the Canberra Times for defamation. The newspapers have stood by their reporting.

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