Federal police raid ABC over story

Australian Conservatives Release

The ABC Managing Director says this morning’s AFP raid of its Ultimo offices “raises legitimate concerns over freedom of the press” as the broadcaster’s head of investigations demanded to know: “Is this a free media?”

The Conservative Party is determined to protect our freedoms, including freedom of the press and leader Cory Bernardi will re-introduce his Protected Freedoms Act later this year with a view to protecting and preserving all of the freedoms Australians currently enjoy.

The Australian reports, Police officers are currently trawling emails and attempting to access the ABC’s hard drive over a story in which a defence force insider raised allegations over the killing of civilians in Afghanistan.

Managing Director David Andersen said in a statement: “It is highly unusual for the national broadcaster to be raided in this way. This is a serious development and raises legitimate concerns over freedom of the press and proper public scrutiny of national security and defence matters.

“The ABC stands by its journalists, will protect its sources and continue to report without fear or favour on national security and intelligence issues when there is a clear public interest.”

Head of investigations John Lyons live tweeted the raid, describing “pretty confronting scenes” and demanding: “Is this a free media?”

The ABC raid came a day after News Corp journalist Annika Smethhurst’s home was raided by the AFP over an April 2018 story on a secret plan that would have allowed the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time; and 2GB radio host Ben Fordham revealed live on air that he was now involved in a Home Affairs Department inquiry for reporting on Monday that six asylum-seeker boats were headed for Australia.

/Public Release. View in full here.