ABC and News Corp take court action to challenge AFP raids

• The ABC is asking the Court for a declaration that the warrant was invalid

The ABC yesterday released a statement by David Anderson, ABC managing director, on Federal Court proceedings:

The ABC has lodged an application in the Federal Court of Australia to set aside the warrant that authorised the Australian Federal Police (AFP) raid earlier this month and to demand the return of seized files.

It is important that Australians be advised of this action and of the determination of the ABC to defend our journalists and the crucial work they do informing the public.

The ABC is asking the Court for a declaration that the warrant was invalid on several technical grounds that underline the fundamental importance of investigative journalism and protection of confidential sources. We are also challenging the constitutional validity of the warrant on the basis that it hinders our implied freedom of political communication.

The ABC is also seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the AFP accessing the material seized and to return it to us immediately. It is currently being held by the AFP in sealed envelopes.

The ABC will be using every avenue over the next few weeks to defend the actions of its journalists and to seek legislative changes that protect the media’s ability to report on matters of public interest.

A short statement from Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australasia said:

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.

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

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