Kerry Stokes has been involved in trying to cover-up alleged Afghan war crimes since at least June 2018 when Stokes’ employee and alleged war criminal Ben Roberts-Smith secretly met with former AFP Commissioner Mick Keelty. At the meeting, Keelty gave Ben Roberts-Smith illegally gained inside information from the AFP about whether or not they were investigating Roberts-Smith for war crimes. (Click here to read more)
But Stokes has now stepped up his defence to all the soldiers accused of war crimes. Many people have pointed out there is a conflict given Stokes is Chairman of the War Memorial Council but what is worse is that Stokes has a long history of using the legal system to try and cover-up his own criminal and corrupt conduct as well as the crimes of his staff.
Overview of the Brereton Report as per Wikipedia (Click here for a full copy of the Brereton Report)
The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force Afghanistan Inquiry Report, commonly known as the Brereton Report, is a report into war crimes committed by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) during the War in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016. The investigation was led by Major General Paul Brereton. The independent commission was initiated by the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force in 2016 and delivered its final report on 6 November 2020. The redacted version was released publicly on 19 November 2020.
The report found evidence of 39 unlawful killings, primarily of civilians and prisoners, which had subsequently been covered up by ADF personnel. The report stated 25 ADF personnel were involved in the killings, including those who were “accessories” to the incident. The unlawful killings discussed by the report began in 2009, with most occurring in 2012 and 2013. (Click here to read more)
When the Brereton Report was released last Thursday (19/11/20), outlining alleged war crimes, it didn’t take long for Kerry Stokes to issue a statement saying that he was funding Ben Roberts-Smith’s legal fees for his defamation claim against The SMH and The Age newspapers. Stokes has continually refused to answer my emailed questions on the issue. (Click here and here to see the emails in previous articles)
Kerry Stokes also stated and/or implied that he would also likely fund other soldiers accused of alleged war crimes which drew plenty of criticism in the media. There was an obvious conflict in that Kerry Stokes is also chairman of the War Memorial and I Tweeted last Thursday (19/11/20):
The above picture of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Kerry Stokes was taken on Remembrance Day (11/11/20). I wonder if they spoke about the war crimes scandal.
And last Friday (20/11/20) The SMH reported:
Former Defence Force chief Chris Barrie has called for the Australian War Memorial council to be cleaned out amid concerns it has been too close to special forces soldiers who are now subject to allegations of war crimes. (Click here to read more)
And today (24/11/20) The Guardian reported:
Kerry Stokes’s position as chairman of the Australian War Memorial is “untenable” in the wake of the Brereton report, a former director of the institution has said.
Brendon Kelson, AWM director in the early 1990s, said it was “totally inappropriate” for the chair of the institution to be supporting anyone embroiled in the alleged war crimes scandal.
Last week, the Australian Financial Review reported that Stokes had promised to help members of the Special Air Service regiment through an existing special fund that could, among other things, cover legal costs.
The SAS resources fund, established in 1996, is intended as a broader support program for all SAS members, current and former, and their families, and is not directly controlled by Stokes. Stokes’s spokesman reportedly told the AFR the fund might provide support to SAS members during any upcoming investigation by the office of the special investigator.
Asked about the reports of Stokes’s offer on Saturday, Scott Morrison said: “It’s a free country and it’s a matter for them about how they choose to provide support.” (Click here to read more)
I agree with Scott Morrison that it is a free country and if people want to support and help finance the defence of the alleged war criminals they can. But the Chairman of the War Memorial, Kerry Stokes, who has a long history of abusing the legal system to cover-up his own crimes should be nowhere near the matter and Scott Morrison is supporting him because Stokes controls Seven West Media.
I emailed Kerry Stokes a some questions last night as per below:
From: SHANE DOWLING
Sent: 23 November 2020 22:22
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Cc: Richard Keegan <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com; Martin O’Connor <Martin.OConnor@addisons.com>; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Monique Cowden <firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; JWarburton@seven.com.au
Subject: Kerry trying to cover-up war crimes – New article
Dear Mr Kerry Stokes
I am working on an article titled “Scott Morrison and Kerry Stokes lead the charge to cover-up war crimes exposed by the Brereton Report” and I have a few questions.
- Why do you plan on funding the living expenses and legal expenses etc for the soldiers accused of war crimes?
- Why have you not offered to fund the living expenses and legal expenses etc for the whistleblower soldiers who exposed the alleged war crimes?
- When did you do the deal for Ben Roberts-Smith to use his Victoria Cross medal as collateral for the $1.9 million loan for legal fees?
- Why do you always have Bruce McWilliam leak stories like a coward to the Financial Review instead of manning up and calling a press conference and answering questions?
- When will you resign as Chairman of the War Memorial given the conflict of interest and the fact that you are embarrassing the whole country by continuing in the position?
Can you please respond by 5pm Tuesday the 24th of November 2020.
At this point, Kerry Stokes has not responded to the questions in the above email although his lawyers who were also sent the email have read it. To me, it looks like the deal to use the VC medal as collateral for the $1.9 million loan from Kerry Stokes was designed so the medal never has to be returned if Ben Roberts-Smith is convicted of war crimes.
Kerry Stokes has sued me numerous times and sued Amber Harrison, Simon Mulvany and others which were all designed to cover-up his corrupt and criminal conduct. Australia needs to get to the truth regarding the alleged war crimes and we deserve better than having a criminal like Kerry Stokes involved trying to cover it up.
Nowhere have I read where Kerry Stokes has said he supports the soldiers who fought for our country and are now whistleblowers. One of the questions I put to him yesterday in the above email was “Why have you not offered to fund the living expenses and legal expenses etc for the whistleblower soldiers who exposed the alleged war crimes?” but Stokes refused to answer.
Make no mistake, the cover-up attempt is in full swing by Kerry Stokes and others. Disturbingly, Scott Morrison has flagged he supports Kerry Stokes.
There is a lot more to this story and I have only scratched the surface above. I will follow-up soon with another article on the matter.
Declaration: Kerry Stokes and his numerous frivolous and vexatious legal proceedings against me are detailed in the first few chapters of my new book Australia’s Paedophile Protection Racket.
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