Ben Roberts-Smith resigns from the Seven Network

Ben Roberts-Smith

“We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best”

Following Thursday’s defamation trial verdict, Ben Roberts-Smith has resigned from his position with the Seven Network.

Roberts-Smith has been working as general manager of Seven West Media’s Queensland operations since 2015, however he took leave due to the trial in 2021.

An email to staff from Seven’s managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, seen by Guardian Australia reads:

“As you’re all aware, the judgement in the defamation case was handed down yesterday.

“Ben has been on leave whilst the case was running, and today has offered his resignation, which we have accepted.

“We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best.”

See Also: Ben Roberts-Smith defamation trial: Judge hands down his verdict
See Also: “It’s a complicated picture”: Nick McKenzie speaks after Ben Roberts-Smith verdict

Ben Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient and former SAS soldier, has been suing the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Canberra Times in regard to a series of 2018 articles that he says defamed him. As well as the papers themselves, Roberts-Smith has taken action against journalists Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters, and former journalist David Wroe. The articles alleged that he had committed murder and other war crimes during his deployment in Afghanistan.

Thursday’s judgement saw Justice Anthony Besanko hand down a mixed verdict on Thursday. Ultimately, the verdict was largely a win for the papers, having proven the truth of the most serious allegations against Roberts-Smith. 

Roberts-Smith himself was not in the Sydney courtroom at the time, having flown to Bali in the previous days.

The year-long trial has been the first time that any court has been asked to assess allegations of war crimes by Australian forces. It involved more than 100 days of evidence, 42 witnesses called in from around the globe, and hundreds of exhibits shown to the court.

Justice Besanko has listed the matter of considering costs for June 29.

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