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Ben Roberts-Smith receives Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal as he awaits defamation verdict

Ben Roberts-Smith beams as Australia’s most decorated soldier is awarded a rare Royal honour – as the controversial veteran awaits the outcome of an explosive trial over allegations he’s a war criminal

  • Ben Roberts-Smith awarded Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal on Wednesday
  • The Afghan war veteran awaits the verdict of his defamation case against media
  • Roberts-Smith is suing newspapers for publishing accusations of war crimes 
  • The verdict for the case, which spanned 100 days in court, is yet to be delivered 

Embattled Australian war hero Ben Roberts-Smith was among four Victoria Cross recipients presented with The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal to recognise excellence in public service.

Queensland’s Governor Jeanette Young on Tuesday presented the rare royal honour to the beaming SAS soldier, along with Keith Payne, Mr Daniel Keighran and Victor Boscoe.

The recognition comes as Mr Roberts-Smith continues to await the verdict of his ‘trial of the century’ defamation case.

He is suing The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times for defamation over 2018 reports claiming he committed war crimes while serving Afghanistan including murder, acts of bullying and domestic violence.

Proceedings in the Federal Court case ended on July 27 four years after more than 100 days of hearings. 

Afghan war hero Ben Roberts-Smith is pictured beaming as he is presented with a rare royal honour, awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

Mr Roberts-Smith (second left) was awarded the medal by Queensland's Governor Jeanette Young on Wednesday alongside Keith Payne, Daniel Keighran and Victor Boscoe

Mr Roberts-Smith (second left) was awarded the medal by Queensland’s Governor Jeanette Young on Wednesday alongside Keith Payne, Daniel Keighran and Victor Boscoe

The commemorative medal was created to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession in 1952. 

The 43-year-old recently attended The Queen’s funeral in London dressed in a suit, adorned with his war medals.

Upon accepting the invitation to the service he spoke about the honour of meeting the Queen in 2011.

The decorated digger said it was a ‘surreal’ experience and that he was ‘taken aback’ by her ‘kindness’ and ‘intelligence’.

He recalled to the West Australian that ‘she sort of dropped her handbag on the double-seated couch and pointed for me to sit down, and I assumed that she would sit opposite me, but she sat right next to me and grabbed my arm and started talking to me about just having just flown back from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting at that time.’

The recognition comes as Mr Roberts-Smith continues to await the verdict in his 'trial of the century' defamation case where he says multiple papers wrongly accused him of committing war crimes and murdering six unarmed persons while serving in Afghanistan

The recognition comes as Mr Roberts-Smith continues to await the verdict in his ‘trial of the century’ defamation case where he says multiple papers wrongly accused him of committing war crimes and murdering six unarmed persons while serving in Afghanistan 

The Afghan war veteran recently spoke about the late Queen's 'kindness' and 'intelligence' as he accepted an invitation to attend her funeral

The Afghan war veteran recently spoke about the late Queen’s ‘kindness’ and ‘intelligence’ as he accepted an invitation to attend her funeral

Mr Roberts-Smith described the late Monarch as ‘magnificent’, adding that she was ‘stoic leader’ and ‘a lovely lady’.

‘I have a very deep respect for Her Majesty and everything that she has sacrificed in her life and what she has achieved.’

The war veteran has also previously received a Victoria Cross for storming a fortified enemy machine gun position in Afghanistan and killing three insurgents when his unit was pinned down. 

Mr Roberts-Smith (pictured at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral) described the late Monarch as 'magnificent', adding that she was 'stoic leader' and 'a lovely lady'

Mr Roberts-Smith (pictured at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral) described the late Monarch as ‘magnificent’, adding that she was ‘stoic leader’ and ‘a lovely lady’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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