The Seven Network is standing by its Queensland managing director Ben Roberts-Smith after the former soldier and Victoria Cross-winner was accused of burying evidence relevant to war crimes investigations.
The report said the contents of the USB, including photos of a fellow soldier dressed as a Ku Klux Klan member at a fancy-dress party at a coalition base in Afghanistan and evidence of the alleged desecration of an enemy soldier’s body, had since been obtained by military and police investigators.
Mr Roberts-Smith has emphatically denied any wrongdoing, repeatedly saying he has nothing to hide about his time in Afghanistan.
He says new allegations are “baseless”.
The Seven Network has said Mr Roberts-Smith will remain in his position in the wake of the allegations.
“Seven Network notes the denial by its Seven Queensland Managing Director Ben Roberts-Smith VC of the allegations aired by Nine on 60 Minutes last night and as further published in the Nine newspapers,” the network said in a statement.
“Insofar as most of the material aired is old, Seven notes that it is before the Federal Court and the court process should be respected.
“Insofar as new allegations are made they do not appear to be supported by evidence.
“In the circumstances Seven does not need to reconsider its position concerning Mr Roberts-Smith and him continuing in his position.”
Mr Roberts-Smith is running a defamation case against Nick McKenzie and Nine newspapers over a series of stories, claiming they suggest war crimes were committed by the decorated former soldier.
The 60 Minutes episode and stories in Nine newspapers also aired secret recordings of Mr Roberts-Smith lauding the network’s owner Kerry Stokes for funding his legal battles and being critical of the broadcaster’s operations.
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