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EXCLUSIVE | ‘Incredibly confronting’: Journalist reveals scenes inside AFP raids on ABC offices

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Image: John Lyons

The Australian Federal Police are raiding the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Sydney offices, marking the second operation in as many days targeting the media.

They issued a search warrant naming two journalists and the ABC’s News Director.

Ben Fordham has revealed the raid was instigated by the Department of Defence.

The operation reportedly relates to a story broadcast in 2017 about Australia’s elite special forces in Afghanistan and allegations about the unlawful killing of civilians.

Yesterday, a News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s home was raided by the AFP after she reported a story about a secret government plan to spy on Australians.

Ben revealed he could be facing raids by the Australian Federal Police after he ran a story which revealed confidential Home Affairs information.

ABC News Executive Editor and Head of Investigative Journalism John Lyons has been live-tweeting the raid.

Mr Lyons tells Ben Fordham it is ‘incredibly confronting’ sitting inside the meeting room watching the officers comb through their computers.

“I think this is a major major invasion of the free media in this country.

“I’d be fascinated to hear what Scott Morrison, as the Prime Minister of the country, thinks about this sort of activity.

“A raid like this doesn’t happen if the Prime Minister doesn’t want it to happen.”

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Law Council of Australia President Arthur Moses tells Ben public interest is a defence which can be used for someone under investigation.

“At the moment that specific defence does not exist for persons who provide information to journalists who themselves have a public interest defence.”

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