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Did Billionaire Kerry Stokes bribe AFP police with the help of former Commissioner Mick Keelty?

There is a powerful prima facie case that billionaire Kerry Stokes bribed AFP police with the assistance of former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty to help Ben Robert-Smith fight murder and war crime allegations and Kerry Stokes is not denying it as the below email shows.

The fact that Mick Keelty illegally aided and abetted Ben Robert’s-Smith to obtain police information is not beyond doubt as Mick Keelty has publicly admitted as much.

Mick Keelty’s involvement was 2 secret meetings with Ben Roberts-Smith in June 2018, which only come to light recently, to tip him off about the AFP investigation. Ben Roberts-Smith is now facing possible criminal charges for war crimes and is also involved in a defamation battle which he instituted against the media.

On the 7th of May 2020, it was reported that the AFP had passed on a brief of evidence to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to have Ben Roberts-Smith charged with murder and war crimes. Then on the 18th of May, it was reported that the “Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has appointed top Sydney barrister David McLure SC to lead efforts to prosecute decorated Afghan veteran Ben Roberts-Smith for alleged war crimes.” 

Ben Roberts-Smith is also suing The Age Newspaper, which is owned by Nine Entertainment, and journalists Chris Masters and Nick Mackenzie for defamation for reporting on the alleged war crimes committed by Ben Roberts-Smith

The Mick Keelty / Ben Roberts-Smith secret meetings

The SMH reported on the 16/8/20:

The Australian Federal Police’s war crimes investigation into former special forces soldier Ben Roberts-Smith was compromised after former AFP chief Mick Keelty was told secret details by serving police and then passed them on to Mr Roberts-Smith.

Mr Keelty passed on confidential information to Mr Roberts-Smith just days after the AFP had launched what were supposed to be covert inquiries into the Afghan veteran and Victoria Cross recipient in early June 2018. Mr Keelty’s information confirmed to Mr Roberts-Smith that he was the subject of police interest according to official sources familiar with the matter speaking on the condition of anonymity.

The police watchdog, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, has confirmed Mr Keelty’s actions have resulted in an inquiry into “a potential corruption issue relating to the alleged release of information by an unknown AFP member to Mr Ben Roberts-Smith about an investigation into Mr Roberts-Smith”.

Sources with knowledge of the events say Mr Keelty’s intervention allowed Mr Roberts-Smith to take precautions against police inquiries at a time when he should not have known he was under scrutiny. The disclosures meant the covert phase of a war crimes inquiry – one of the most sensitive probes in AFP history – was blown only days after it started.

In a written statement to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, Mr Keelty defended his actions, stressing he had only ever acted out of concern for Mr Roberts-Smith’s welfare. Mr Keelty said he did not know the former soldier when he met him twice to give him welfare support in June 2018.

“Mr Keelty told The Age and Herald he had offered the support to Mr Roberts-Smith after a request from a security industry contact who had worked alongside Mr Roberts-Smith for billionaire media mogul Kerry Stokes. Mr Stokes, the executive chairman of Seven Group Holdings, is Mr Roberts-Smith’s employer. There is no suggestion Mr Stokes endorsed the actions of Mr Keelty.” (Click here to read more)

The AFP police officer who was suspected of giving Mick Keelty information was former deputy commissioner Ramzi Jabbour who was suspended in March 2019 on separate misconduct allegations and resigned in August 2019.

Mick Keelty who was appointed by the government as Interim Inspector-General (IIG) for the Murray-Darling Basin later appointed Mr Jabbour to a government integrity role. Both of them should have been sacked by now but they still have their jobs at this point.

Mick Keelty also said in his statement that he spoke to AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan when he made enquiries on behalf of Ben Roberts-Smith. When Keelty made the public statement, he was throwing Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan under a bus and saying “if I go down so will you”.

Both Mick Keelty and Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan should face criminal charges and highly likely so should former deputy commissioner Ramzi Jabbour and if that was to happen Kerry Stokes at the very least would be a witness and possibly a suspect as Stokes has set up a legal and PR team to defend Ben Roberts-Smith. Stokes is also well known for getting favours from politicians and government officials so for him getting inside information from the AFP wouldn’t be an issue. And what were Ben Roberts-Smith’s motives for meeting Mick Keelty and did he pay him?

There seems to be some confusion as some reports are saying that the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity has finalised their investigation into Mick Keelty and the leaks which reeks of a cover-up with federal Attorney General saying on the 17/8/20: “I understand the investigation by ACLEI has not uncovered admissible evidence against any person within ACLEI’s jurisdiction that would support further action in relation to the allegation,” Mr Porter said. (Click here to read more)

But a recent interview (30/9/20) published with the current AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw quotes him as saying the “Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity boss Jaala Hinchcliffe was investigating the issue.” (Click here to read more) It is common for government agencies to sweep complaints or criminal conduct under the carpet but if the media come snooping or write a story then all of sudden the so-called investigation comes to life again so they make it look like they are actually doing something. It is obvious that is what has happened here.

I sent Kerry Stokes some questions as per the below email:

From: SHANE DOWLING  
Sent: 01 October 2020 22:14
To: kstokes@seven.com.au; rstokes@seven.com.au; bmcwilliam@seven.com.au; mark.obrien@markobrienlegal.com.au; monica.allen@markobrienlegal.com.au
Cc: Richard Keegan <richard.keegan@addisons.com>; justine.munsie@addisons.com; Martin O’Connor <Martin.OConnor@addisons.com>; smark@smark.com.au; sandy.dawson@banco.net.au; Monique Cowden <mcowden@level22.com.au>; Justine Munsie <justine.munsie@addisonslawyers.com.au>
Subject: Did Kerry Stokes bribe AFP police to help Ben Roberts-Smith?

Dear Mr Kerry Stokes

I will be publishing an article this weekend which currently has the working title “Did Billionaire Kerry Stokes bribe AFP police with the help of former Commissioner Mick Keelty to cover-up murder?” and I have a few questions as per below:

  1. Was Mick Keelty employed by you or one of your companies prior, during or after he approached Ben Roberts-Smith in approximately June 2018?
  2. How much did you or one of your companies pay Mick Keelty for his meetings with Ben Roberts-Smith?
  3. What is your knowledge of the bribing of AFP police such as AFP Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan and former deputy commissioner Ramzi Jabbour to give Mick Keelty information about the AFP’s investigation into Ben Roberts-Smith?
  4. Did you have prior knowledge that Mr Keelty would be meeting with Ben Roberts-Smith before they met twice in approximately June 2018?
  5. What is the name of the security industry contact “who had worked alongside Mr Roberts-Smith for billionaire media mogul Kerry Stokes” as mentioned in the SMH article here: https://www.theage.com.au/national/covert-war-crimes-inquiry-compromised-by-former-afp-chief-mick-keelty-20200812-p55kzj.html
  6. Does the “security industry contact” still work for you or one of your associated companies?
  7. Can you confirm that Seven West Media or one of your associated companies is paying Ben Roberts-Smith’s legal and PR fees?
  8. It has been in the media that Ben Roberts-Smith has been having a sexual relationship with Monica Allen who is one of the lawyers representing him, and likely on Seven’s payroll if question 7 is true, which the media have suggested is highly inappropriate. Are you aware of the sexual relationship and what action have you taken?

Can you please respond ASAP in case I have follow-up questions.

I would have written this article a few weeks ago but I was busy finishing my new book “Australia’s Paedophile Protection Racket”. I hope you have all got a copy as it’s a great read and most of you are in it. And who’s been a naughty boy or girl and threatened Amazon? Bruce, anything to say?

Regards

Shane Dowling

I never received a response from Kerry Stokes which is odd as he normally has his lawyer Richard Keegan respond. 

A letter to the editor on The Age’s website on the 18th of August 18, 2020, sums up the situation. 

Transparency a given
‘‘Compromised probe stains nation’s honour’’ (18/8), in discussing former AFP chief Mick Keelty’s effective undermining of a police investigation into SAS alleged war crimes, rightly characterises this as ‘‘an appalling scandal’’. This tipping off of VC winner Ben Roberts-Smith with regard to AFP referrals about him shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, however.

In November 2018, the then Australian War Memorial director, Brendan Nelson, remarkably lobbied for the Inspector General of the ADF to ‘‘damn well get on’’ with its inquiry into Roberts-Smith. Nelson had previously commented that war was a ‘‘messy business’’; and that unless there had been the ‘‘most egregious breaches of laws of armed conflict, we should leave it alone’’. This ‘‘fog of war’’ rationalisation was famously refuted at the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal’s judgment on the Nazi leadership in 1946; the Nuremberg Principles emphasised an individual combatant’s individual moral responsibility, specifically in relation to ‘‘killing of hostages’’ and ‘‘murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war’’. In 2020, full transparency around the behaviour of Australian soldiers in war zones should be a given.
Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza (Click here to see on the website)

Brendan Nelson and Ben Roberts-Smith

Brendan Nelson and Ben Roberts-Smith

Kerry Stokes is the chairman of the Australian War Memorial so it should be no surprise that Brendan Nelson who is a director as referenced in the above letter lobbied on behalf of Ben Roberts-Smith. 

Ben Roberts-Smith started the defamation proceedings, mentioned above, last year and it is set down in the Federal Court for final hearing for 2 months in June and July 2021. If Ben Roberts-Smith is charged with murder/war crimes before the defamation case it will almost certainly be adjourned until after the criminal trial so there are a lot of possible twists and turns to go for Ben Roberts-Smith.  

Criminals using defamation proceedings to hide their crimes in quite common. Kerry Stokes has used the same strategy against me for years and Craig McLachlan sued for defamation until he was charged with criminal offences which are still before the court.

Ben Roberts-Smith suing for defamation was a bad move as it has only given the war crimes allegations more publicity. And he hasn’t been defamed by media because an enquiry by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force and the police have been investigating Roberts-Smith and others for war crimes and it is in the public interest to report it.

There is a long way to go in this matter and I will keep following it.

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5 replies »

  1. This is a very impressive piece of investigative journalism. Certainly the best piece you have done in many, many years! Hopefully, your message will reach a wider audience than just those who subscribe to your blog site.

  2. This was emailed to me by Keith Tennent today who follows this website via email:

    A point of fact in regards to Ben Roberts Smith is his father was a WA Supreme Court Judge and also a Major General, Legal Corps, in the Australian Army Reserve Forces. Roberts Smith ran around Australia like a super hero after he was awarded the Victoria Cross [ Australia ], offering advice, opinion and guidance to all and sundry, from football teams to retired Senior Officers. Smith managed somehow to reach the dizzy heights of Corporal after about 15 years service in the Australian Army, when anybody with any ability and leadership would make at least a Warrant Officer after that period of time. It is widely known among Veterans just how loathed Smith was among his compatriots in the SAS. There sadly were some dills in the Veteran community who swallowed Smith’s propaganda and fakery, albeit to hang on his coat tails to big note themselves.

    Keith Tennent.
    Vietnam War Veteran.

  3. It is interesting that Wikipedia reports that from 2016-2017 Mr Keelty conducted a CLASSIFIED review of the security of the Australian Defence Force following terrorist attacks on military bases overseas. This experience alone should have been sufficient for Mr Keelty to maintain a strict silence and not communicate with anyone about the matter of war crimes, least of all Ben Roberts-Smith. The fact that Mr Keelty is a former AFP Commissioner simply underscores how utterly abhorrent his conduct was when he chose to meet with Roberts-Smith. There is clearly more to this than meets the eye.

  4. There was an event some years back (the Haneef Affair?) that telegraphed to the Deep State that Mick Keelty was open for business.

  5. When are some specific people going to grow some balls, state that they don’t give a #&+#” about who Kerry Stokes and Rupert Murdoch are and start a massive lawsuit against both these mongrels, Mick Keelty, Neil Gaughan, Ramzi Jabbour, maybe even Brendan Nelson and everyone else involved in this case?

    Most Australian citizens don’t seem to care, aren’t exactly on the streets protesting against the massive amount of corruption and scandals swept under the rug (I’m talking about pre Covid-19). I don’t understand why not. We’re seeing it happen in other countries on independent and objective news shows, so why not in Australia??

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