Channel 7

Seven’s directors Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, James Warburton and Bruce McWilliam caught lying to the media about stitching up journalist Shane Dowling for jail

Seven West Media’s directors have been caught lying to the media about Seven’s involvement in having journalist Shane Dowling (me) stitched up for 10 months jail. Bruce McWilliam, as per the below email to the True Crimes News Weekly website which McWilliam cc’d to Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and SWM CEO James Warburton, claimed Seven were not a party to the proceedings so they could not comment which is a blatant lie. The reason for the lie is unknown but they are obviously very worried.

For directors of a publicly listed company to make deliberately false public statements would have to be a breach of their fiduciary duties and it is something the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) should be looking at. And I suspect shareholders and advertisers would be very concerned as well.

As I wrote on Sunday (5/9/21) in the article titled “Arrest warrant issued for Queensland journalist Shane Dowling by the NSW Supreme Court on behalf of Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network and Seven West Media“:

Journalist Shane Dowling (me) has been sentenced to 10 months jail by Justice Kelly Rees of the NSW Supreme Court on the instructions of Kerry Stokes’ Seven Network and its parent company Seven West Media. This is the third time Kerry Stokes’ Seven have had journalist Shane Dowling charged with contempt. The first time backfired badly and Stokes and Seven have a lot to answer for but when an old media company is having new media journalists jailed all media should be asking some serious questions.

They have issued an arrest warrant as I live in Queensland and Justice Rees and other judges refused to transfer the matter to Queensland even though I made several applications to have it transferred so I could go to court. They transferred the Capilano Honey v Simon Mulvany defamation matter from Sydney to Melbourne in 2017 so they could have transferred this matter to Queensland. This makes me a fugitive in my own country. (Click here to read more)

I also published the below video on social media on Monday (6/9/21)

On Monday True Crimes News Weekly emailed Seven’s directors Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, James Warburton and Bruce McWilliam asking them some questions in relation to the arrest warrant and jail sentence against me for an article True Crimes News Weekly published on Tuesday (Click here to read the article) and Bruce McWilliam responded as per below. McWilliam added in the subject line “Background. Not for direct quote.”

Subject: Media Request: Comment on Jailing of Shane Dowling for Contempt. Background. Not for direct quote.

Date:     Mon, 6 Sep 2021 5:53 PM

From:    McWilliam, Bruce <BMcWilliam@seven.com.au>

To:         True Crime News Weekly

CC:        Warburton, James <JWarburton@Seven.com.au>, Stokes, Kerry <Kerry.Stokes@acequity.com.au>, Rstokes@seven.com.au <Rstokes@seven.com.au>

Many thanks for your email. I am assuming you have a copy of the judgment. If not let me know

Seven does not think in a Criminal matter – to which we’re not parties – that it’s appropriate to make any public comment. As this concerns the judge and the courts. However you will note a couple of references below in the judgment to Dowling’s animosity towards Mr Stokes and Seven.

I’d also note for background off the record that Mr Dowling has refused to apologise, and he appears to have deliberately gone out of his way to magnify his guilt. No rational person would do this.

Mr Dowling has caused many people hurt deliberately. If you look at his sites you’ll see a wide range of people he’s defamed with serious allegations all invented. In our Seven West Media proceedings he falsely alleged innocent women were involved with our former CEO.

End of email quote. McWilliam did go on to say more lies bagging me which are irrelevant. He would only do it off the record like a coward.

For Bruce McWilliam to say, “Seven does not think in a Criminal matter – to which we’re not parties – that it’s appropriate to make any public comment.” is a straight out lie and by sending it cc to the other directors means they have to take ownership of the lie.

McWilliam also says “As this concerns the judge and the courts”. It is the Seven Network and Seven West Media who instituted the contempt proceedings against me via a Notice of Motion they paid for, not the court. They have done it before as well which McWilliam admits in the above email where he says, “In our Seven West Media proceedings he falsely alleged innocent women were involved with our former CEO.” but more on that in a minute and let’s get back to the “to which we’re not parties” lie.

On the judgement it says on page one “Seven Network (Operations) Ltd v Dowling (No 2)” and on page 3 it has the parties as:

Parties: Seven Network (Operations) Ltd (First Plaintiff)
               Seven West Media Ltd (Second Plaintiff)
               Shane Dowling (Defendant)

The companies suing me in the proceedings are the Seven Network (which is Channel Seven) and it’s parent company Seven West Media which is listed on the stock market. The company sitting above them is the Seven Group which is also listed on the stock market and owns about 40% of Seven West Media and also has industrial services, oil and gas businesses etc.

The Directors have responsibility for the Bruce McWilliam email lies

Kerry Stokes is the Chairman of the Seven Group and recently announced his resignation from that position, but he is staying on as Chairman of Seven West Media. Ryan Stokes is the CEO of Seven Group and a Director of Seven West Media. James Warburton is the Managing Director & CEO of Seven West Media. Bruce McWilliam is no longer a director Seven West Media and is now only the “Commercial Director” and all he basically does is handle the legal cases for Seven West Media like the Ben Roberts-Smith defamation case.

Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and James Warburton are all senior executives above Bruce McWilliam at Seven West Media and they have to take ownership of the lies in Bruce McWilliam’s email to True Crimes News Weekly as they were all cc’d in the email and would have known it was full of lies. This means there are potential legal ramifications for them given they are directors of a publicly listed company that has made false statements to the media about the company. They could and should be struck off as directors for starters.

Kerry Stokes caught again using Seven West Media as a private slush fund to run various legal cases

In 2016 two women working as Seven, an on-air host and an actress sued me for defamation which was related to the Amber Harrison – Tim Worner sex, drug and fraud scandal and the matter was known as Jane Doe and Ors v Shane Dowling. Tim Worner was CEO of Seven at the time. The lawyers tried to make out that the women were suing me themselves but, in the witness stand, their lawyer Richard Keegan at first said he didn’t know who was paying their legal fees but after further questioning he eventually admitted that Seven were paying their legal fees. 

In the email above Bruce McWilliam says, “In our Seven West Media proceedings he falsely alleged innocent women were involved with our former CEO.” which has in effect admitted that the women never sued me, Seven West Media did and used the women as a front to try and conceal the evidence coming out about the Amber Harrison – Tim Worner sex, drug and fraud scandal. The women were named in a legal document which was protected by absolute privilege which meant they could not sue me for defamation which the judge Justice Desmond Fagan agreed when we were in court but when he handed down his judgment he said the legal document wasn’t tendered as evidence which was a lie. But the key point is the Jane Doe and Ors v Shane Dowling matter is another case where Seven West Media was used as a slush fund to run dodgy legal proceedings for Kerry Stokes and Seven’s management.

It is the same as Seven West Media being caught out spending $millions paying for the Ben Roberts-Smith to fight war crimes allegations and his defamation matter and having full control over the case. The Age reported in April 2021:

Stokes funded Ben Roberts-Smith’s defence out of public company funds

Minority shareholders of the Kerry Stokes-chaired Seven West Media have been kept in the dark about how $1.87 million of company funds was lent to executive Ben Roberts-Smith to fight war crime allegations.

A secret agreement, signed by Mr Stokes’ son Ryan, reveals the shareholder funds were lent to pay Mr Roberts-Smith’s private legal expenses, including for top barristers to contest the grave accusations the ex-soldier faced before Australia’s military watchdog.

The agreement, seen by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, gives the first confirmation that Seven West Media – a listed company of which the Stokes family is a majority shareholder – lent shareholder money to Mr Roberts-Smith.

Last June the loan from the listed company was paid by the Stokes family’s private company, ACE, with Kerry and Ryan Stokes agreeing to continue funding the accused war criminal privately because of the “unfairness of your [Mr Roberts-Smith’s] treatment” by the military Inspector-General.

Under Australian corporate law, the resources of a public company must only be used in the best interests of the shareholders of the company as a whole. Mr Roberts-Smith is the Queensland manager of Seven West Media, but his fight against the Inspector-General’s inquiry into war crime allegations has little obvious connection to the business of his employer. (Click here to read more)

I raise the Ben Roberts-Smith and Jane Doe matters as it might help explain why Seven’s directors are lying about being involved in this matter having me sentenced to jail for 10 months and a warrant issued for my arrest using Seven West Media funds. The directors have been caught dipping their hands into the Seven West Media piggy bank to fund dubious legal proceedings a number of times now and it is likely very illegal to do so and maybe they are worried about a call from the authorities. Shareholders would have to be very concerned at the least and so would companies advertising on Seven.

Back in 2006 to 2009 Kerry Stokes dropped about $200 million of Seven’s money in the infamous C7 court case suing over 20 other companies and Stokes lost and Seven had to pay. Stokes was caught giving knowingly false evidence under oath in the matter so he should have been made to pay the $200 million. Stokes has been using Seven’s money for failed legal cases for years and he is still doing the same to this day.

A big thanks to True Crimes News Weekly

News Agency AAP wrote an article about the 10-month jail sentence and the SMH also wrote an article but as Ross said in the comment section of the last article the SMH article by Kate McClymont “it reads like a PR exercise for the Establishment”. Kate McClymont is meant to be an investigative journalist but she tried to do a hatchet job on me and she has been schooled by Serkan at True Crimes News Weekly who did what investigative journalists are meant to do and that is ask questions. Serkan sending the above email to Seven’s directors and getting a reply which has blatant lies in it is a great get for any journalist.

If the Seven Network and Seven West Media had legitimately had me charged with contempt for publishing their secret material, they would want everyone to know as a warning to others. But instead, Seven’s Directors are lying to the media about their involvement, as they know how corrupt it was and they have a lot to hide.  

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11 replies »

  1. Interesting how N.S.W. Courts see the magnitude of offences and how they`re punished. As Shane has pointed out, a priest got three months gaol for raping three boys while they judge alleged contempt needs ten months. Or do they dip into a lucky number barrel to decide sentences?

    • Unrelated but current, after serious floods years back in Queensland, damages claims against Sunwater (Qld Govt) were heard in NSW Supreme Court, victims awarded about $400m.
      Other QGovt agency, SEQWCorp, was also found guilty of negligence by NSW Supreme Court in relation to it’s dam operations through the floods, appealed to NSW Court of Appeal and recent decision by NSW Court of Appeal duly squashed NSW Supreme decision, odd decision, raises concerns on logics of that decision.
      Matters raised continually by KCA gives rise to suspect Court rulings throughout NSW.

  2. I agree with Vinny at the same time Shane not sure how you get all your info, but my word you are very thorough. We need more people like you to print the truth and then let people judge for them selves. Shane I pray that you find some way to stay free.

  3. “Kerry Stokes the billionaire….”an example of him, Kerry, then add his son and their cohorts, and as the facts are continuously uncovered, all are merely huge mounds of stinking, worthless dung.

  4. As an aside, I have stopped, totally, watching Channel 7. Too many repetitive adds every 5 minutes turned me off for life. I wish the ombudsman would restrict the content and repetitiveness of such advertising. People I know are recording ch7 and flicking through the adds which is also a pest and detracts from the program.

  5. “Authority, when first detecting chaos at its heels, will entertain the vilest schemes to save its orderly façade.”
    ― Alan Moore

  6. Hey Shane just read your book couldn’t put it down there was a movie made in 1985 called The Star Chamber with Michael Douglas that’s what we need here I am now reading the other book you recommended by Peter Fox Walking towards thunder can’t put that down either another reason for a Star Chamber you are NOT ALONE Shame get those rockspiders mate always read your posts.

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