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Police believe AWU raid tip-off to media may have breached the law

Police believe AWU raid tip-off to media may have breached the law
A raid on the Australian Workers’ Union headquarters in October last year has now been confirmed by the Australian federal police as being leaked to the media. The police believe that at least one offence may have been committed when the press was tipped off.

According to the Guardian, the police informed Senate estimates on Friday that they provided material to the Commonwealth director of public prosecutions because they believe the law might have been breached in the incident that triggered the resignation of jobs minister Michaelia Cash’s senior media adviser, David De Garis.

“We believe an offence may have been committed, hence our request to the DPP for an assessment of our material,” said Leanne Close, deputy AFP commissioner. 

News media were on location when the police raided the AWU headquarters last October in response to concerns that key documents were being concealed or destroyed. This was part of the investigation by the Registered Organisations Commission into $100,000 of donations made in 2005 by the union to the activist group GetUp to examine whether the contribution was authorised under the union’s rules.
 

The day after the raid, Cash denied that her office had informed journalists of the invasion before it was carried out. She told Senate estimates that she was not aware of the previous day's raid until she saw it on television. 

Later that day, Buzzfeed reported that journalists from two news outlets said they had been tipped-off by Cash’s office an hour before the raid. That prompted the resignation of De Garis. The AFP then began investigating the leak.


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