UPDATE: It is understood Australian Federal Police have seized a contract showing Channel Seven had agreed to pay convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby for her first tell-all television interview.
It follows heated scenes at the Network’s Sydney offices this morning after AFP officers stormed the building.
Channel Seven have confirmed they were asked last week to hand over documents as part of a Proceeds of Crime investigation, which the network insists they complied with ‘immediately’.
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Seven Network journalist Mike Willesee earlier told reporters he was confident police would not find anything in relation to alleged payments made to Schapelle Corby for a lucrative deal.
Willesee, rumoured to be the reporter who will conduct the first interview with the convicted drug smuggler, said no money had changed hands.
“The first thing I want to say about the Australian Federal Police raid is that it will finally nail the lie of the two million dollar payment that’s been repeated and repeated in the Australian media,” Mr Willesee told reporters.
“We’ve positioned ourselves to be the first in line if there is an interview. There is no deal. (The raid) will find nothing. They will find no payment because there is no payment.”
EARLIER: The Australian Federal Police have this morning raided Channel Seven’s Sydney offices.
The raid is believed to be connected to the networks negotiations with convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby for an exclusive interview.
Officers are riffling through the Jones Bay headquarters, the network’s Redfern base, and the Martin Place offices.
News.com.au reports the offices of New Idea magazine, published by Pacfic Magazines, which is owned by Seven West Media, were also raided.
Channel Seven reporter Damien Smith broke the news of the raid on The Morning Show and said it was “pretty tense times here”.
“We understand that the search warrant is in relation to a possible proceeds of crime investigation that the AFP is carrying out into dealings between Schapelle Corby and the Sunday Night program,” he said.
In a statement, the AFP said, “The AFP can confirm it has executed a number of search warrants in Sydney in relation to an ongoing Proceeds of Crime Act matter.
The Federal police could be searching for evidence at the Channel 7 offices for up to 24 hours.
More information as it becomes available