A livid Ben Roberts-Smith has berated a fellow soldier he believed had been speaking to the media about war allegations, demanding he “stick to the f**king code”, newly released audio has revealed.
Nine’s 60 Minutes played a recording of the exchange between Roberts-Smith and a fellow SAS member known as “Soldier M” in 2018 amid a media frenzy.
Soldier M is a relative of Australia’s most wealthy individual, billionaire Gina Rineheart, and prior to the phone call, Roberts-Smith had sent him a threatening legal letter, with the mining magnate CC’d in.
“Yeah, it’s RS, mate,” Mr Roberts-Smith says in the audio.
“Because I know you’ve talked s**t about me, right? I know that.
“I’ve got no ill will towards anyone that has no ill will towards me, it’s real simple. So you know, like, I’m 100 per cent, I stick to the f**king code, mate, 100 per cent, and I have. So all the s**t that’s going on, I’m still probably the only c**t that hasn’t f**king spoken.
“I don’t trust you, mate, I haven’t been able to trust you for a long time. You say we’re mates. We used to be actually, but for some f**king reason I’ve just become the centre of all evil for you and the group of people …
“You’ve got a young child, I’ve got a f**king family, I want to move on, I’m so sick of f**king army, the unit and all the bulls**t. Just remember I was minding my own business, just trying to do my job, and I get attacked by all these f**king journalists. I haven’t spoken a word about it to anyone in the unit.”
On June 1 Roberts-smith lost his lengthy defamation trial against Nine newspapers’ The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times.
Following the verdict, The Australian War Memorial has faced calls to remove the decorated soldier’s uniform from its display.
The 22-week trial saw 32 current and former SAS members provide evidence.
One of the 32, known as “Person Y”, who has never spoken to the media, appeared anonymously on 60 Minutes on June 4.
“You don’t win insurgencies on body counts, yet here is a guy who thinks he’s going to win the war by killing as many people as possible,” he told the program.
“We are not above the law, we are not above the rules of engagement, but I think for him he felt he was above all that, that the rules don’t apply. Many people are having a hard time reconciling the fact that someone they thought was a national hero is in fact the complete opposite, proven to be a bully, a liar and a murderer.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for a country that’s believed the lies for so long.
“I think they thought they were above the law, that they were not going to be caught, that it was a free-for-all.
“I think I could say on behalf of every guy who took the witness stand that none of us wanted to be there, that’s just not who we are.”
One day after the verdict was reached, Seven CEO James Warburton revealed Roberts-Smith had resigned from the network.
“We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best,” he said.
Image credit: Getty
This article first appeared on Over60.