According to a senior Taliban official on Thursday, international forces committed serious crimes during their 20-year-long war in Afghanistan. These remarks came after a former Australian soldier lost a defamation case over reports of allegedly killing Afghan civilians during their prolonged mission in Afghanistan.
Bilal Karimi, a Taliban spokesperson, said that the incidents involved in the Australian court case were a small part of the many alleged crimes that took place and that they did not trust any court globally to follow them up.
In 2018, Ben Roberts-Smith, a former member of the Australian Elite Special Air Service Regiment, sued three newspapers for reports alleging him of being involved in the murders of civilians in Afghanistan. Mr. Smith denied the allegations and launched a multi-million-dollar defamation case in response.
After two years of proceedings, it was decided by a court in Australia that the newspaper had proven the bulk of their allegations to be “substantially true” and dismissed the case against them. Following the announcement, the defendants praised the decision and described it as a major victory for free media in Australia and justice for those Afghan civilians who have been victims of such crimes.
Roberts-Smith had won the Victoria Cross, the highest military honor for bravely hunting a senior Taliban commander during his mission in Afghanistan. Several Australian newspapers reported that Roberts-Smith had kicked an unarmed Afghan civilian off a cliff and ordered subordinates to shoot him – which can be considered a clear crime against humanity committed by international troops in Afghanistan.