Published: Sat, June 08, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Aussie police raid journalist's home over secret spying report

Aussie police raid journalist's home over secret spying report

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied his government had interfered in either investigation.

Labor's home affairs spokeswoman, Kristina Keneally, said the decision not to investigate the leak was an "absolutely breathtaking development". "They told me they had a warrant to search the property, once they realised I was home another two showed up".

The BBC described the raid on ABC as "a deeply troubling" attack on press freedom.

He said the referrals to the AFP by senior public servants were "not extraordinary".

ABC managing director David Anderson said it was "highly unusual for the national broadcaster to be raided in this way".

New Zealand's Media Freedom Committee, which includes every major media outlet in New Zealand, including Stuff, NZME, TVNZ, Mediaworks, RNZ and Allied Press said the raids were "part of a disturbing worldwide trend of security organisations targeting journalists for simply doing their jobs".

Although the press in Australia can report largely free of political interference, strict defamation laws, court gag orders and state security statutes affect what can be said in print and broadcast.

Innes Willox - a former political adviser, diplomat and now chief executive of the Australian Industry Group - said he was anxious about the perceived politicisation of supposedly independent government departments and agencies. "This includes law enforcement itself, the media, or indeed, even politicians", Gaughan said.

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"If there are issues regarding particular laws they will be raised in the normal way that they should be in a democracy", he told reporters in the United Kingdom this week.

"No sector of the community should be immune to this type of activity or evidence collection more broadly". "There are criminal allegations being investigated and we can not ignore them".

Officers arrived at the ABC headquarters on June 5 with a warrant that named two journalists and the News director.

He rejected assertions that police were intimidating journalists or "conduct [ing] a campaign against the media".

Regardless of what happens there, the ABC has committed to continue its investigative reporting in future, despite the threat of police raids.

Both reports were based on documents that were leaked to journalists, and it's obvious that both raids are attempts to track down the sources of the leaks.

In this image made from video, Australia's Federal Police, top, enter the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the national public broadcaster, during a raid on their offices in Sydney, Australia.

"I'm not suggesting that Australia is about to become Egypt any time soon, but what we are seeing seems to me to be on the same spectrum", he said.

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