Australian Federal Police raid ABC offices over ‘The Afghan Files’

UPDATE at 12:15 PM | AUSTRALIAN Federal Police officers are raiding the ABC headquarters in Sydney, one day after searching the home of a News Corp journalist in Canberra.

Wednesday’s raid on the ABC relates to a series of 2017 stories by investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark known as ‘The Afghan Files‘.

The stories revealed allegations of unlawful killings and misconduct by Australian special forces in Afghanistan, according to the national broadcaster.


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The ABC has confirmed Wednesday’s search warrant names Mr Oakes and Mr Clark, as well as ABC’s director of News Gaven Morris.

In a statement issued a short time ago, the Australian Federal Police confirmed its officers were executing a search warrant at the ABC offices in Ultimo in relation to “allegations of publishing classified material”.

“The search warrant relates to a referral received on 11 July 2017 from the Chief of the Defence Force and the-then Acting Secretary for Defence,” the statement said.

“No arrests are planned today as a result of this activity.”

The stories in question were published on 11 July 2017.

The ABC said they revealed “hundreds of pages of secret Defence Force documents leaked to the ABC give an unprecedented insight into the clandestine operations of Australia’s elite special forces in Afghanistan including incidents of troops killing unarmed men and children”.

The AFP said today’s search warrants were authorised by “a magistrate or an appropriate member of the judiciary” after “documentation or material” was presented to the court, providing “sufficient suspicion that a criminal offence has been committed”.

Today’s raid comes after AFP officers searched the Canberra home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst on Tuesday after she reported on secret plans to allow government spying in 2018.

The AFP has confirmed the two raids are unrelated.

 

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