An Afghan family whose member was allegedly killed by Australian forces has said it is ready to travel to Australia to seek justice.
The case involves father and son, Mohammed Essa and Ahmadullah.
In their first interview with Australia’s SBS News, the family of the Afghan man allegedly killed by decorated Australian veteran Ben Roberts-Smith expressed “heartbreak” over the use of their deceased relative’s prosthetic leg for drinking alcohol.
Images of Ahmadullah’s prosthetic leg, which was used to drink alcohol, had created a hue and cry over the role of foreign forces in Afghanistan which finally vacated the war-torn nation in August 2021.
The murder of the father-son duo occurred in 2009 when Australian forces raided a compound known as Whiskey 108 in Uruzgan province. The family still resides in the same place.
Decorated Australian soldier Roberts-Smith was found allegedly to have killed a detained prisoner and ordered the execution of another.
The soldiers had taken the prosthetic leg to their base at Tarin Kowt where it was framed in the squad’s bar.
Later, photos went viral globally showing Australian soldiers, including Roberts-Smith, “drinking alcohol out of the plastic limb.”
Esmatullah, Ahmadullah’s younger sibling, revealed that “his brother had needed the prosthetic limb due to a previous vehicle accident.”
The struggling family has not been contacted by Australian authorities which are currently investigating allegations of war crimes against its soldiers committed in Afghanistan.
However, the family has said it is “prepared to travel to Australia to seek justice.”
Australian Federal Court in June ruled that Roberts-Smith was a war criminal responsible for four murders during his deployment to Afghanistan.
Roberts-Smith has denied any wrongdoing.
A series of stories was published in 2018 and a case was filed in Federal Court by Victoria Cross recipient Roberts-Smith. He had rejected the stories and claims by the journalists.
The former serviceman is also accused of domestic violence and bullying a fellow soldier.
The media stories suggested the veteran soldier committed war crimes in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2012.