Former commando settles case with the ABC

Former commando Heston Russell has been awarded $390,000 in damages in his defamation case against the ABC.
Russell, a retired special forces major, sued the ABC and two of its investigative journalists in the Federal Court over stories that reported allegations from an ex-US marine nicknamed “Josh”.
Josh had made accusations against unidentified soldiers that an unarmed Afghan prisoner was executed in 2012 because there wasn’t enough room in a helicopter.
Mr Russell commanded the November Platoon at that time and sued based on 2021 publications being read with earlier reporting about the allegations from Josh, who said he heard a “pop” over a radio but was not an eyewitness.
Justice Michael Lee had ruled 10 defamatory imputations were conveyed by the stories and rejected the ABC’s public interest defence.