Kerry Stokes to pay costs of Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case

Kerry Stokes to pay costs of Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case

Seven West Media chair Kerry Stokes will pay millions of dollars to rival network Nine in the fallout of the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case.

ABC reports yesterday orders made in the Federal Court confirmed Mr Stokes’s private company, Australian Capital Equity Pty Ltd (ACE), will pay Nine’s costs on an indemnity basis. The costs have been estimated at some $30 million to defend the lawsuit.

In June, following a lengthy trial, Justice Anthony Besanko dismissed a defamation case and found allegations against the Victoria Cross recipient including murder had been proven on the balance of probabilities. Roberts-Smith, a former executive at Seven Queensland, maintains his innocence and has lodged an appeal.

Indemnity costs compensate a party for a higher proportion of its total legal bill than what it more commonly awarded by a court.

The case will return to court today.

Nine-owned Stan on Sunday premiered a documentary on the investigation, Ben Roberts-Smith: Truth on Trial.