Over the last week during closing arguments, the barrister representing Fairfax (Nine) and it’s journalists, Nicholas Owens, SC has accused Ben Roberts-Smith of lying under oath, colluding with witnesses, intimidating witnesses and destroying evidence all of which carry lengthy jail sentences if found guilty.
Those allegations support the article I posted in February titled “Powerful prima facie case to charge billionaire Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and Ben Roberts-Smith with attempting to pervert the course of justice” (Click here to read the article)
Ben Roberts-Smith could end up doing more jail time for the alleged crimes he has committed during the course of his defamation case than he does if he is charged and found guilty of his alleged war crimes.
Watching the closing arguments on the video link over the last few days there were 2 powerful issues that hit home:
- How badly have Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and their henchman Bruce McWilliam handled the matter given they are financing and controlling the court case, not Ben Roberts-Smith?
- The elephant in the room in this matter is journalist Chris Masters who has been sitting at the back of the courtroom feverishly writing notes for what one has to suspect is his next book which would have to be about this court case. This is relevant to number one as well.
The failed legal strategy of Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and their henchman Bruce McWilliam
Ben Roberts-Smith gave up his legal rights in this defamation case right from the start and handed it to Kerry Stokes because Seven financed the matter. Once that deal was made public Stokes transferred the financing to his private company Australian Capital Equity and has continued to control the legal decisions being made.
Kerry Stokes has used the War of Law strategy many times and he has lost many times. It is a strategy he has continued to use but this matter might be his downfall. There are too many eyes watching and too many law enforcement agencies who will be embarrassed if they fail to act.
I am one of a few people that can give a true first-hand viewpoint on how the matter is being managed by Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes and their henchman Bruce McWilliam because I have been on the receiving end of their legal strategy from 2014 to 2022 via 4 SLAPP lawsuits.
The allegations levelled at Ben Roberts-Smith of lying under oath, colluding with witnesses, intimidating witnesses and destroying evidence are the exact same crimes that Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, Bruce McWilliam and their legal team used against me over numerous years. I’ll give you one example below.
In 2014 Kerry Stokes sued me for defamation in regards to an article I wrote about Seven paying Schapelle Corby for an interview. I believe the lawsuit was mainly designed to have me take down an article so they could settle with the AFP who had raided the offices of Channel Seven and who Seven had taken to court.
Lawyers can write affidavits for their clients but not when they are also one of the applicants in the matter. But that is what happened. Kerry Stokes and his lawyer Justine Munsie both sued me for defamation in the same matter but Justine Munsie wrote an affidavit for Kerry Stokes which started off as per below where she admits writing the affidavit for Kerry Stokes and she admits speaking to numerous witnesses.
I think what happened is that Kerry Stokes was going to sue me for defamation but decided he didn’t want his name on the matter title so his lawyer Justine Munsie sued me as well so the matter became known as Munsie v Dowling.
Whether I am right or not doesn’t matter as it is up to Kerry Strokes and Justine Munsie to explain why Munsie wrote the affidavit for Kerry Stokes and why she spoke to numerous witnesses while doing so. It is an open and shut case of conspiring to pervert the course of justice which is almost identical to some of the allegations Nine’s barrister has made against Ben Roberts-Smith.
Justine Munsie has also written an affidavit for one of Ben Roberts-Smith’s witnesses in the defamation matter (Click here to see the affidavit) and her law firm, Addisons, is listed as one of the law firms representing at least one witness.
The below video gives an overview of this article as well as further information.
Declaration: Seven West Media and Seven Network, on the instructions of Kerry Stokes, had me charged with contempt for the third time for the crime of journalism and an arrest warrant was issued in September 2021. I wrote in an article on the matter the below extract which is relevant to this article:
“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.” (Click here to read the article)
“The pen is mightier than the sword”
Kerry Stokes has been the major shareholder of Seven for over 20 years but he still seems to fail to understand the media. Nick McKenzie is the high-profile journalist in this matter but it is Chris Masters who originally started investigating it for his book No Front Line – Australian special forces at war in Afghanistan.
The SMH reported:
Rumours that Roberts-Smith had been involved in war crimes first found their way to Chris Masters during his 10-year investigation into Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan for his 2017 book No Front Line. Roberts-Smith was by then working as an executive in the Queensland office of Seven West Media. The allegations held potency because the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force was running his own investigation into allegations of suspected war crimes.
So when Masters started asking questions, Seven’s commercial director, Bruce McWilliam, suggested to Roberts-Smith that he retain solicitor Mark O’Brien, a notoriously aggressive defamation specialist. Stokes, who was also chair of the Australian War Memorial, offered for Seven West Media to pay the bill (though the loan was later transferred to his personal company account). O’Brien’s first letter to Masters’ publishers reflected his standard modus operandi of defence by attack.
“Mr Masters is clearly motivated to attract publicity to his book and attention to himself for such false and defamatory attacks upon my client,” he wrote to Allen & Unwin. “I have very firm instructions to take all necessary steps to protect my client’s impeccable reputation but trust that will not be necessary.”
Masters was undeterred. Following his book’s publication, he teamed up with McKenzie to look deeper into events touched on by the book, and 10 months later the results of their investigation appeared in The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Canberra Times. The stories did not name Roberts-Smith. (Click here to read more)
I have been watching the live telecast of the court case over the last few days and one thing that stood out to me was Chris Masters at the back of the court busily writing away with pen and paper and I have no doubt he is using the content of the trial to write another book.
It is that book, likely many more books and movies that is the real danger to the liberty and reputations of all those involved in the attempted cover-up that the court case has exposed. All that information is now on the public record in court documents so anyone can write a book and make a movie using that content and there is nothing Kerry Stokes, Ryan Stokes, Bruce McWilliam and Ben Roberts-Smith can do to stop it.
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