Hundreds of photos on several USB sticks were buried in a child’s lunchbox by Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, Australia’s most decorated former SAS soldier who is now also being investigated for war crimes. The photos were covertly obtained by police in 2020, but have only now been made public by 60 Minutes and The Age.
What’s contained on those USB sticks are some truly horrific moments from the war in Afghanistan.
The most umbelievable thing about the "BRS allegedly buried evidence of alleged war crimes in his backyard" story is that this promo actually lived up to the hype https://t.co/ZxkYO0ORoa
— Jim Malo (@thejimmalo) April 11, 2021
One photo shows an Afghani man who had been killed, his face freshly splattered with blood. An Australian soldier appears to have desecrated his corpse by placing two military souvenir coins over his eyes as some kind of sick war trophy.
“The way I understand the Geneva Conventions, mucking around with the corpses of dead people on the battlefield is a war crime,” former NSW Supreme Court judge Anthony Whealy told the program.
“That’s trophy hunting.”
Other photos are from a party held at the coalition military base near Tarinkot. They show Australian soldiers drunk off their faces; vomiting and pissing indoors, as well as pretending to perform oral sex in the open.
One of the soldiers had even dressed up in Ku Klux Klan robes and carried a noose around.
“It’s entirely inappropriate behaviour,” Whealy added.
“It’s a failure of leadership. It’s a failure on behalf of the people involved and the witnesses that were there as well.”
not many yarns about these days where "war hero and media executive pictured at costume party in unauthorised bar while man in KKK hood brandishes burning cross" would be among the least explosive details of a story
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) April 11, 2021
Among the hundreds of other photos are several which again show Australian soldiers drinking beer from the infamous prosthetic leg taken from an Afghani who was killed.
The investigation also claimed that Roberts-Smith, who buried this damning evidence in the first place, sent threatening letters and emails to journalists and others who helped expose what really went on in Afghanistan.
He is now suing Nine Entertainment (which owns Channel 9 and The Age, as well as PEDESTRIAN.TV) for a previous report about him allegedly kicking an Afghan civilian off a cliff. Nine argues the allegations are substantially true.