The former U.S. soldier at the centre of to the Heston Russell defamation case against the ABC, has publicly apologised to the Australian war veteran.
Russell, a retired major, filed a lawsuit against the ABC and its reporters, Josh Robertson and Mark Willacy, accusing them of defaming him in articles and broadcasts concerning his 2012 service in Afghanistan.
The lawsuit revolved around allegations that U.S. forces had refused to collaborate with the 2nd Commando Regiment’s November Platoon, suspecting their involvement in the execution of a hogtied Afghan prisoner.
The primary source behind these claims, Dean, a former US Marine helicopter pilot, expressed his regret in a statement, acknowledging his naivety and lack of foresight regarding the situation.
“This has been a lesson learned about how my intentions may not have matched the intentions of the people I spoke with,” Dean remarked, emphasizing his remorse for the stress caused to Russell and his loved ones.
Russell, vindicated by the Federal Court, is now set to receive $390,000 in damages, with the determination of legal costs scheduled for Tuesday.