Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith says allegations made against him by Channel Nine are “baseless”.
Nine, through its program 60 Minutes, alleged that Mr Roberts-Smith buried USB drives containing purportedly compromising material in his backyard, rather than providing them to police and military investigators.
Mr Roberts-Smith is suing Nine newspapers over a series of 2018 stories alleging he committed war crimes in Afghanistan.
In a statement, he denied that he engaged in any unlawful conduct, saying the allegations are not supported by evidence.
“These allegations were not put to Mr Roberts-Smith prior to being broadcast on 60 Minutes and published in the Nine newspapers,” a representative for him said.
“Had Mr McKenzie or Nine wished to engage in impartial or objective journalism, they would have sought Mr Roberts-Smith’s comment.”
Mr Roberts-Smith said he would not be “intimidated” by Nine or journalist Nick McKenzie into dropping the defamation action against them.
Nine also obtained alleged secret recordings of Mr Roberts-Smith in which he appeared to say he was indebted to his media mogul boss Kerry Stokes and vowed to destroy journalists publishing stories about him.
In the recordings published by Nine, a man appearing to be Mr Roberts-Smith – who is a senior executive at Seven West Media – revealed his dislike for the media business and his disbelief that he was still running the company’s Queensland operations, despite being at the centre of an alleged war crimes scandal.
He said in the recordings he was indebted to Mr Stokes for his ongoing support.
Seven West Media has been contacted for comment.