An active duty Australian SAS member told federal courts he witnessed Ben Roberts-Smith shoot an unarmed Afghan civilian outside of a compound in Afghanistan. He also told the court that he saw Roberts-Smith order a subordinate to execute an elderly man. The witness is anonymized in the court as Person 41, and was a member of a raid on a compound in the Uruzgan province known as Whiskey 108 on Easter Sunday 2009. Whiskey 108 was a well-known insurgent compound in the village of Kakarak. On April 12th, 2009 an Australian team including Person 41 and Roberts-Smith was clearing the compound. Person 41 gave evidence he was outside the compound when he saw Roberts-Smith “frog marching” an Afghan man away from the compound. Roberts-Smith allegedly threw the man on the ground on his back, flipped him over, and discharged his rifle into him 3-5 times killing him. After Roberts-Smith saw Person 41 standing there he asked “are we good?”
Person 41 also said that earlier in the raid inside the compound he heard Roberts-Smith order another team member to execute an elderly man who had been found near bomb making materials.
Roberts-Smith is suing multiple Australian newspapers for defamation over the series of reports leading up to the trial.