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Gary Adshead takes aim at Kerry Stokes’ Crown inquiry connection

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Gary Adshead takes aim at Kerry Stokes’ Crown inquiry connection

The connection between the head of the Crown Casino Royal Commission and several witnesses is coming under increasing scrutiny.

Commissioner Neville Owen has personal and business relationships with Seven West Media chairman Kerry Stokes, who employs two witnesses and has strong ties to Crown shareholder James Packer.

9 News Perth political editor Gary Adshead has been covering the royal commission and said it is concerning.

“When you set up a royal commission …  you have to have people that are fiercely, fiercely independent,” he told Liam Bartlett.

“I’m not suggesting that Mr Owen isn’t able to sit there impartially.

“But from a perception point of view, real or otherwise, the conflict, a commissioner has to be completely devoid of any of that.

Nine News Perth has reported that it was told by sources that Attorney-General John Quigley would not have backed the appointment had he known of the relationship.

Adshead also took aim at The West Australian newspaper, which is owned by Kerry Stokes, for their coverage of the issue.

“The West newspaper, I should point out, has not mentioned this Owen/Stokes relationship at all in any way shape or form, until today.

“It is a story in their newspaper with no byline on it and it is a story, what I would call in journalistic news room parlance as an arse-covering exercise.

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Liam Bartlett
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