Channel 7

Powerful prima facie case to charge billionaire Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and Ben Roberts-Smith with attempting to pervert the course of justice

There is an extremely powerful prima facie case to charge billionaire Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, Seven CEO James Warburton, Seven executive Bruce McWilliam and Seven West Media’s other directors with numerous crimes including attempting to pervert the course of justice and intimidating witnesses.

Ben Roberts-Smith is in a lot of trouble with his defamation case with numerous soldiers and ex-soldiers giving evidence against him with one soldier saying in court on Tuesday (22/2/22) “Ben Roberts-Smith ordered mock execution of civilian during training drill” and then Roberts-Smith spoke about how they cover-up the murders. (Click here to read more) But in this article I want to focus on the alleged crimes committed in Australia by Ben Roberts-Smith to cover-up the alleged war crimes with the evidence pointing to numerous people helping him.

It has always been obvious to me and many others that Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case is about trying to avoid war crimes and I wrote in June 2021:

Ben Roberts-Smith’s main objective in suing the media companies and journalists is not the alleged defamation. His main goal is to avoid being charged with war crimes allegedly committed in Afghanistan and other crimes he has allegedly committed in Australia which would have a long jail sentence attached if he was charged and found guilty. So, there is no chance Roberts-Smith will be withdrawing the defamation case the same way Christian Porter and Alan Jones did when their defamation cases looked like exposing them for who they really are.

The legal game plan

Ben Roberts-Smith will see the defamation case through to the end hoping if he wins that will put pressure on the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions not to charge him with criminal offences. And if he loses the defamation case, he will see that as him being in no worse a position than he would have been in if he hadn’t sued for defamation as he was already being accused of war crimes by the media and former soldiers on a regular basis. (Click here to read more)

The powerful evidence to support possible charges against Kerry Stokes etc. has been heard publicly over the last few months in the Federal Court of Australia with some of it coming from a private investigator who did work for Ben Roberts-Smith which included sending a threatening letter to one witness and making a false complaint to police about another witness which resulted in a police raid on that witness. (Click here to read more)

Some of the key evidence by the private investigator was supported by Ben Roberts-Smith ex-wife who also said she was asked to lie by Ben Roberts-Smith. (Click here to read more)

Kerry Stokes, Ben Roberts-Smith and Ryan Stokes

Kerry Stokes, Ben Roberts-Smith and Ryan Stokes

What is dynamite and what most people following the defamation case don’t realise is that Kerry Stokes is controlling the court case from start to finish. He is financing the court case and making the key decisions. 

The Guardian reported in October 2021:

Ben Roberts-Smith’s TV station backers commissioned a secret report into war crimes allegations made against him by newspapers, the federal court has heard.

But the written report was shared only with a select few, including Seven chairman Kerry Stokes, with the document even kept from Roberts-Smith himself and key members of his legal team.

Journalist Ross Coulthart was given an assignment by Channel Seven’s commercial director Bruce McWilliam to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Roberts-Smith, published in the Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times in 2018, Nicholas Owens SC, acting for the newspapers, told the court.

The report was established as a counter-investigation, Owens said, used to try to dissuade and pressure the newspaper reporters from writing further stories about allegations against the former soldier.

On Monday, the federal court heard argument over the nature and “primary and dominant purpose” of Coulthart’s report, which was commissioned to investigate allegations made against Roberts-Smith, including that he murdered unarmed civilians while a member of the Australian SAS on service in Afghanistan. (Click here to read more)

In April 2021 it was reported:

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. 

Seven West Media directors, including business heavyweights David Evans and John Alexander, did not respond to questions about whether they knew of the loan and use of Seven’s legal team to assist Mr Roberts-Smith’s private interests.

The Seven spokesperson declined to comment on whether directors were aware of the loan when it was with the company. A spokesperson for Kerry Stokes also declined to comment on whether he or his son informed the board about the loan and its transfer. (Click here to read more)

If Ben Roberts-Smith did threaten and intimidate witnesses, which several witness have said he did and there is documented evidence to support the allegation, then there is enough evidence to charge Ben Roberts-Smith with attempting to pervert the course of justice and trying to intimidate a witness. Given Kerry Stokes’ extremely close involvement in the case there would be enough evidence to charge him as well as the Seven Directors given Seven was initially funding the matter as well as the fact that Seven have continued to support Ben Roberts-Smith. 

Kerry Stokes, Seven and its Directors would also have to take full responsibly for Ross Coulthart contacting other journalists trying to intimidate them not to write anything more about Ben Roberts-Smith’s alleged crimes. That alone is attempting to pervert the course of justice and/or attempting to conceal a crime.

This whole matter will eventually be a movie and have numerous books written about it and it is the cover-up that will engulf Ben Roberts-Smith and many others far and wide and destroy their reputations even if they avoid jail.  

Admin: My new book “The Jerilderie Letter Part Two: Australia’s Corrupt Prime Ministers” is published on Monday (28/2/22). For more details click here.  

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11 replies »

  1. What surprises me is how a Lance-Corporal( (nearly the lowest rank in the Army) can get away with so much when he seems to have frightened Warrant Officers and much higher ranks in his exploits. Warrant Officers are usually the hard men of the Army.
    Will he be the destroyer of the SAS’s reputation or Bruce McClintock?

    Keep up the good work
    John K (Ex Private ARA (NS)

      • And what does Besanko J make of it?
        So much similar fact and horrifying evidence of what really went on in Afghanistan unsupervised.
        Besanko seemed like a Proper Old-Adelaidean .Gentlemen when he was doing his recent weekend/Sunday shift for the very important tennis-related stuff.

  2. You are a voice of sanity in these strange times. Keep on keeping on.
    I have always thought that the Victoria Cross award had a weird smell to it. Something of a political publicity stunt to justify the skirmish in Afghanistan. Time has proved me right and time will prove you right.

  3. I had had the feeling for a few years that Roberts-Smith was being groomed as another ex-military ‘hero’ candidate for a safe LNP seat. I suspect those plans have been shelved.

  4. IMHO, we all, as Australian citizens have been drawn into the realms of active war criminals. ALL of these actions are done in our / your names. Willing participants? Not consciously, however if citizens do not keep checks and balances in place of their government, these can be the typical outcomes When proper procedures are not implemented, let alone adhered to, we have to face the consequences. “What is the first casualty of war / conflict – TRUTH!”
    Australia is a very corrupt country. All the indicators now point in this direction. Our international reputation has been totally trashed. I as an Australian born citizen, feel totally shamed!

  5. Interesting doco on the judiciary in Russia on Four Corners tonight. Actually, from personal experience of a Supreme Court in Australia, I found no difference. If anything, Russia might be a tad better as they allow defendants to offer evidence, permit them to be present at trials, and don`t exhaust all of a defendant`s funds. Maybe we could use Russia`s approach as a model here? 🙁

  6. A corporal in the Australian army has very limited power. The lowest rank with substantive power would be. a WO.BRS was “one of the boys”,but obviously a natural leader.No one gets a VC for being a coward or an arsehole.The committees that decide on awards are very conservative in their assessments . If something smells here ,it is the trail of excrement left by commanding officers who want to avoid the responsibilities of command.They are the one who decide how the war should be waged.NOT a corporal.If BRS was ignoring orders to win the war,why was he left there?Why was he awarded aVC? There are some cowards in our army,BRS is not one of them.But there are quite a lot of them in the upper ranks who want BRS to carry the can for their own cowardice..

    • Their is a long chain of command above Ben RS : the Regiment head, the head of defence forces, the relevant Minister, the ministerial colleagues who made the decision to go to war, the PM etc, and possibly Aussie intelligence. I certainly am appalled at some of the things Ben RS is alleged to have done. Who above him knew of and/or condoned his behaviour? Is he another Lieutenant Calley? One of my SAS mates (I used to drink at a pub they often drank at) describes Ben RS as a narcissist. If true : Was he that way prior too enlisting? Was this picked upon recruitment or even at some later stage? If he wasn’t narcistic on entry to the SA : Does ADF bear some responsibility? Was he, between tours, given sufficient counselling? I am not at all defending his alleged behaviour, merely putting it in what I believe is a real context. As an Aussie society we train and expect these blokes to do stuff that humans shouldn’t do to each other, stuff that is most likely traumatic. Supposedly they do their job on behalf of all of us Aussies. One of their sayings is ‘Leave nobody behind’. Has Australia left Ben RS behind?

  7. When is Besanko J going to say he has heard enough evidence, has formed a strong view on it and send the parties away to Settle the various Claims by RS ie for $0 but costs to the defendants?

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