News Corp joins ABC in challenging AFP raid warrants

News Corp Australia has aligned itself with the ABC, and taken a stand against the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raids earlier this year.

In a statement, News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller said the media outlet plans to challenge the validity of the warrant used to conduct the raids on the home of Annika Smethurst in Canberra.

Michael Miller_M360 2018

Miller: Taking a stand 

Yesterday, the ABC announced it would be lodging an application with the Federal Court over the warrant used by the AFP for the raids on the broadcaster’s Sydney offices, and would demand the return of documents seized by the police during the event.

Miller said News Corp will do a similar thing, and wants to know if the investigation on Smethurst is continuing.

“We will challenge the validity of the warrant used to conduct the Australian Federal Police raid on the Canberra home of journalist Annika Smethurst because we are determined to fight for journalism and for the public’s right to know,” said Miller.

“We also invite the AFP to confirm that it is discontinuing its investigation into both Annika and News Corp.”

Smethurst’s home in Canberra was raided on June 4 over a story from April 2017 about intelligence agencies accessing Australian domestic data. The ABC’s Sydney offices were raided the next day over a report known as The Afghan Files, which detailed potential war crimes in Afghanistan.

Whereas the source of information is known in the ABC story, with whistleblower David McBride has already outing himself as the leak who provided key information to investigative journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark, Smethurst’s source has not been revealed.

According to a report by The Australian, News Corp is planning to take its challenge over the raids to the High Court, bypassing the Federal Court which is the route the ABC are taking.


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