Channel 7

On the run with fugitive Australian journalist Shane Dowling

I’m arguably a fugitive journalist given I moved interstate to avoid the police and courts in NSW but the main person chasing me and trying to jail me again is actually the media companies Seven West Media, the Channel Seven Network and SWM’s nutter chairman Kerry Stokes.

The definition of a fugitive is: “A fugitive from justice, also known as a wanted person, can be a person who is either convicted or accused of a crime and hiding from law enforcement in the state or taking refuge in a different country in order to avoid arrest”

While I am not quite there yet, Seven West Media and the Channel Seven Network, under the instruction of Kerry Stokes, have told me in an email they will be seeking to have me jailed again next year and I moved interstate after harassment by NSW judges who made it clear I will not receive justice in NSW courts and also after the Supreme Court sent NSW police to harass me further. I figured between Stokes, Seven West Media, the NSW Supreme Court judges and the NSW police someone was going to stitch me up for jail again in the near future so it was time to move.

Some people might try and blame me because of the articles I write, but right on cue, it was reported on Melbourne’s The Age website that Kerry Stokes is trying the same game against Nine Entertainmnet journalist Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters.

The Age reported (16/12/19) that “The Australian Federal Police has launched a second war crimes investigation into Australia’s most decorated living soldier, former special services corporal Ben Roberts-Smith.

Trouble for Ben Roberts-Smith grows by the day as the investigation into his conduct grows wider but that is not what this article is about. What is relevant to this article is what The Age said in relation to what Kerry Stokes and Ben Roberts-Smith have done to try and silence The Age’s journalists:

Mr Roberts-Smith has hired a team of lawyers including top barrister, Arthur Moses SC, and a public relations firm to counter the allegations, which he vehemently denies. Experienced PR executive Sue Cato and former journalist Ross Coulthart are being supported by billionaire media mogul, Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes, a backer of Mr Roberts-Smith who employed him as a senior manager in 2015.

Mr Stokes is also backing the defamation proceedings Mr Roberts-Smith has launched against Fairfax Media – now known as Nine – for a series of investigative reports about his alleged misconduct. Last week, Nine Entertainment lawyers fought efforts in the Federal Court brought by Mr Roberts-Smith to force journalists to reveal their sources.

On Friday, the federal president of the journalists’ union, Marcus Strom, issued a statement backing Nine’s legal fight to protect its reporters’ sources by invoking source shield laws.

“There is no higher principle for journalists the world over,” Mr Strom said. “To discard the shield at a time when the public’s right to know is already under assault would further damage press freedom in Australia.”

The Age and Herald have already flagged an appeal if they should lose the battle to keep their sources protected.

The court has reserved its decision (Click here to read the full article)

For anyone to go after a journalist’s sources is grubby tactics but it’s a thousand times worse when it’s a media company and it’s executives trying those grubby tactics which they themselves would normally complain about.

Ben Roberts-Smith has been General Manager of Seven Queensland since 2016, and Seven under Kerry Stokes’ leadership, has a long history of pouring shareholders funds down the drain protecting Seven staff and management from media scrutiny.

A prime example is the $millions that Seven spent trying to protect former Seven CEO Tim Worner who used his position to sexually prey on staff, use cocaine at work and fraudulently use shareholders funds to help facilitate his affairs. Seven sacked Tim Worner in August after the only thing he achieved was running the company headfirst into the ground which Kerry Stokes allowed to happen.

Ben Roberts-Smith should also know better because his attempts to silence the media in reporting the allegations against him also have the potential to undermine the journalists at Seven West Media.

A couple of relevant comments from Twitter on this issue are:

Vince Mahon @vjmahon: “Seven Qld must be an interesting place to work. Journalists have Ben Roberts-Smith as General Manager actively undermining work of journalists. Must be tension.”

Martin Bonobo @Martin_Bonobo: “So BRS wants to throw his old SAS comrades and his current journo employees under the bus?”

And from Nick Mckenzie who is under the pump:

Nick McKenzie @Ageinvestigates: “No greater test of right to know. War crimes suspect and war hero Ben Roberts-Smith is suing us backed by billionaire, his PR team feeds select journos, he’s trying to expose our sources in court and get cops to investigate how we get info. Truth will win.”

Shane Dowling picture two

Fugitive Australian journalist Shane Dowling at a secret location

Since 2014 Kerry Stokes has used huge legal resources and spent $millions to try and silence me from reporting his corruption and corruption at Seven West Media and his associated companies. Stokes has also had me jailed before for speaking the truth and is trying to do so again.

Seven West Media and the Seven Network have contempt of court proceedings against me set down for hearing in the Supreme Court of NSW on the 20th of April 2020 for articles that were on a website in 2017 for a few months and it’s a website that Stokes now owns. It’s nothing more than Kerry Stokes being the spiteful person he is by using shareholder’s funds and wasting taxpayer resources in the legal system. (Click here for more details or to listen to the podcast of the recent court hearing)

Kerry Stokes has a long history of hunting down journalists and/or whistleblowers who expose his corrupt business practices. Literally, dozens of journalists and media companies have been on the receiving end of legal threats by Stokes via his lawyers over many years.

I’ve actually moved interstate because I was getting harassed and threatened by NSW Supreme Court judges and the NSW police which I have written about numerous times this year. The two matters that are left involving me, Seven and the Capilano Honey matter, should have been transferred to Queensland but so far the NSW Supreme Court is refusing to do so and has refused to have the contempt proceedings transferred.

The situation is not all bad as a lot of whistleblowers who have stood their ground, and are also being hunted for exposing government corruption, will be in court next year for hearings which will really put the spotlight on how corrupt our governments and their agencies are.

As the above shows Australia is not in a position to criticise other countries when it comes to the treatment of journalists and whistleblowers.

I didn’t publish an article on the weekend as I was moving again, which is a feature of being on the run, and time has caught up with me so I’ll likely only do one more article for the year on Sunday which will be the regular yearly Christmas post.

The crowdfunding campaign I started on the 26th of October has raised $5900 on GoFundMe and $5720 on Paypal/direct deposits for a total of $11,620 of the targeted $50,000. I will stop the crowdfunding campaign in the next few days so if you haven’t donated yet please do. The campaign is to raise money for my legal battle with Capilano Honey who have spent years trying to silence me for reporting about their fake and polluted honey, to help fund writing my second book on judicial corruption and to help keep my website going so I can continue to publish articles.

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5 replies »

  1. Join the club mate, there are others of us hiding interstate from NSW In-Justice. Enjoy your new location and take care.

  2. i hope you took that picture before you left… i am sure if you shop a lot you could recognise it….. but good luck and have a merry christmas… having travelled… i am sure you are seeing that it is nicer where you are than in nsw

  3. I’m surprised that Ben Roberts-Smith didn’t try to save himself a dollar and ask his father, Len Roberts-Smith, who is a retired jurist, to represent him instead of a costly team of lawyers and a top barrister…but then, p’haps Kerry Stokes is happy to fund whatever it takes in hope of bringing you to heel.

    Given Xmas is nigh, it might be worth a shot to ask Stokes if he will donate a few $hekel$ to your GoFundMe campaign, him p’haps feeling that nobody is beyond redemption.

    It sure looks like both Kerry Stokes and this Ben Roberts-Smith fellow are now ‘gunning’ for those who have opened up on them in the press. Kerry Stokes has donated several Victoria Crosses – that he has purchased at great cost – to the Australian War Museum and he might be after Ben Roberts-Smiths’ Victoria Cross as well, before Roberts-Smith may mandatorily have to give it back if it is deemed that he is not a worthy recipient of such an august award for bravery. If Roberts-Smith has to hand it back, maybe Stokes can do a deal with the military and somehow secure it for the Museum instead?

  4. There are some scurrilous RATS in Queensland that may try to use the “Mental Health Act” on you to gain your silence, it is called “sectioning”, if “someone” files a complaint the police are compelled to act, however there is a form of defense, under section 58 of the Act, “any person who makes a false claim faces 2 years jail” the police don’t like arresting people in this way because they have to answer when it is discovered to be malicious and vexatious, the result is annoyance for the victim!

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