An Australian government minister has rejected a national broadcaster’s demand that police drop an investigation of two journalists who reported classified information.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Nine Network television on Friday that police would decide whether to prosecute Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC) journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark.
ABC management said on Thursday they had written to Dutton calling for police to drop their investigation of the reporters that led to a raid on ABC’s Sydney headquarters in June.
The police raid sought documents relating to ABC’s 2017 reports about Australian Special Air Service Regiment’s involvement in Afghanistan, and misconduct by Australian troops.
Police had raided the Canberra home of a News Corp. Australia journalist a day earlier, hunting for unrelated documents that formed the basis of an article she wrote more than a year ago.
The police raids raised serious concerns among journalists in Australia about freedom of the press.