Australian Police End Investigation Suspected of Leaking Confidential Information About Public Broadcasting Reporters

Australian police close investigation into alleged leak of confidential information About public broadcaster October 15 at 9:08 p.m.

Australian police were investigating a reporter for public broadcaster ABC on suspicion of leaking confidential military information, but revealed today that they have closed their investigation. The police investigation has become a major debate in Australia, as it threatens press freedom.
Australian public broadcaster ABC reported in 2017, based on confidential Ministry of Defence documents, that Australian soldiers had been sent to Afghanistan between 2009 and 2013, including the killing of civilians.

Federal police searched ABC’s headquarters in Sydney, the largest city, last June, and were investigating two reporters in charge of the report, on suspicion that officials had leaked confidential information.

ABC said in July that the police investigation had ended for one of these reporters, but the federal police announced on Monday that the investigation had ended after federal prosecutors found it necessary to prosecute the other reporter, “considering the role of the press in the public interest.”

ABC issued a statement welcoming the end of the investigation and appealing for “changes to the law to ensure that reporters and sources working for the public benefit are properly protected.”

The police investigation has become a major debate in Australia, as it threatens freedom of the press.