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Scott Morrison insists government had nothing to do with raid on journalist’s home

The Prime Minister is insisting a police raid on the home of a News Corp journalist was not directed by the government.

Journalist Annika Smethurst’s apartment was raided by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) on Tuesday over an April 2018 story about a secret government plan to spy on Australians.

The raid has prompted outrage among the Australian public, with many seeing it as an attack on press freedom.

Macquarie Media’s Ben Fordham also revealed yesterday that he is now the subject of an investigation by the Department of Home Affairs over a story he broke last week.

But in an email to Alan Jones, Scott Morrison says the government isn’t responsible for the situation.

“Alan, the raids are a matter for the Australian Federal Police. They are not directed by the government. They are not conducted with the knowledge of the government. They are an independent law enforcement agency.”

Alan Jones says the Australian public should have a lot of questions for the police.

“She merely wrote a responsible story, Annika Smethurst, that there was a secret plan that would’ve allowed the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens and gain access to their emails, bank records and text messages.

“That’s a story that worries a lot of Australians.”

Click PLAY below to hear Alan’s comments in full

One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham agrees with Alan, telling him people should “absolutely” be concerned.

“Raiding homes is something you expect in a police state. We saw it in the old Eastern Europe arrangements. It’s not the Australian way and the Federal Police need to rethink their strategy.

“It’s almost a form of intimidation to say to her and other journalists, ‘don’t mess with us'”.

He says the AFP Commissioner should explain the raid to the Australian public.

“He can’t just say that it’s a matter for the Federal Police. It should be a matter of federal government decency and support for a free press that we don’t go raiding the homes of journalists.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

 

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