In Photos, Soldiers Drink From Dead Man's Prosthetic Leg

Lawyers say hundreds of photos exist
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2021 1:35 PM CDT
Photos Leaked of Soldiers Drinking From Slain Man's Prosthetic Leg
Cpl. Ben Roberts-Smith of the Special Air Service Regiment approaches the dias to receive a Victoria Cross during a ceremony at Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne, Australia, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011.   (AP Photo/Australian Department of Defence, Cpl. Chris Moore)

Images of of Australian soldiers drinking from what was allegedly a dead Afghan's prosthetic leg in an unauthorized bar called the Fat Lady's Arms may play a big role in an upcoming trial. Lawyers for former soldier Ben Roberts-Smith say they are still working to process hundreds of photos from the bar inside Australia's special forces base in Afghanistan, the Guardian reports. The leg used as a drinking vessel was allegedly taken back to the base as a souvenir after Roberts-Smith shot its owner in 2009. The decorated former soldier is suing Australian newspapers including the Sydney Morning Herald for defamation over stories alleging he "broke the moral and legal rules of military engagement" and committed war crimes.

Lawyers for Roberts-Smith say his ex-wife, Emma Roberts, leaked the images to the media, though the newspapers being sued dispute this, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports, with one alleging the images were found on USB drives Roberts-Smith buried in his backyard. His lawyers said he did shoot the Afghan man but another soldier brought the leg back to the base and Roberts-Smith was "disgusted" when it was used for drinking games. The lawyers say the slain Afghan man was a Taliban soldier but the newspapers say he was a civilian. The defamation trial, which begins Monday, is expected to hear from Roberts-Smith's ex wife, along with other former soldiers and Afghan civilians whose family members were killed. The Morning Herald reports that war crimes investigators will be monitoring the trial. (Read more Australia stories.)

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