24 C
Australia
Saturday, September 19, 2020

Australia unsure about prosecution of journalists

Must read

AUS police warn of zero tolerance for anti-lockdown protesters

Police in the Australian state of Victoria on Friday slammed plans for the third weekend of anti-lockdown protests, saying they will take...

Mask not more effective than coronavirus vaccine ‘by any means’, says Trump

Despite Robert Redfield, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that wearing a mask would be more...
The Indian Telegraphhttps://theindiantelegraph.com.au/
Established in 2007, The Indian Telegraph is a multi award winning digital media company based in Australia.

Australias Attorney General (AG) on Wednesday declared that he would be reluctant to authorise the prosecution of journalists after federal police raids earlier in June.

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) executed search warrants on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst after they published classified information related to national security, reports Xinhua news agency.

AFP commissioner Neil Gaughan approved prosecuting the journalists in what would be an unprecedented move but AG Christian Porter told the media on Wednesday that it would be unlikely.

In order for a person to be prosecuted under the relevant criminal law, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) must seek consent from the AG.

“There is absolutely no suggestion that any journalist is the subject of the present investigations,” Porter said.

“I would be required legally to consider all the circumstances of any case but I can say I would be seriously disinclined to approve prosecutions except in the most exceptional circumstances.

“I would pay particular attention to whether a journalist was simply operating according to the generally accepted principles of public interest journalism.”

The government has been under pressure to guarantee the freedom of the press since the AFP raids.

Porter said that the people who leaked the classified documents are the ones under investigation rather than the journalists, a contradiction of the position stated by Gaughan.

Mark Dreyfus, the opposition Australian Labor’s Party’s legal affairs spokesperson, said that Porter’s declared position was “not good enough”.

“While the threat of prosecution hangs over the heads of these journalists, the freedom of all Australian journalists to do their jobs, and the public’s right to know, are harmed.”

(This story has not been edited by The Indian Telegraph staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Latest article

Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial to be in a position in six months

The Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial, being constructed within the reminiscence of those that sacrificed their lives for the separate Telangana state, will probably...

Flash flooding hits Broken Hill in the New South Wales outback

Flash flooding has hit an outback town in New South Wales with 15mm of rain falling in 15 minutes. Broken Hill has been...

David Maddocks jailed for setting man on fire

A Melbourne man was asleep in his car when a nemesis doused him with petrol and lit him on fire in a cruel...

COVID VIC: Brett Sutton says sorry to Melbourne’s Afghani community

Victoria’s chief health officer has publicly apologised after “inadvertently calling out” Melbourne’s Afghani community when referring to the city’s deadly virus cluster in...

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies, dying wish revealed

Legal powerhouse Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died at the age of 87. The US Supreme Court Justice revealed her dying wish to...