NBN raid fallout continues, with Conroy formalising privilege claim

Feds' warrant names the guilty printer

The Australian Labor Party's (ALP's) senator Stephen Conroy has formalised his claim of parliamentary privilege over documents seized in last week's Australian Federal Police raid of his office and the homes of two of his staffers.

Conroy has sent a letter to the Australian Federal Police (AFP), a procedural step required to formalise the verbal claim of privilege made at the time of the raid.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) says Conroy's claim for privilege “extends to all words spoken, and acts done, in the course of, or for purposes of, or incidental to, parliamentary proceedings”.

To Vulture South, that looks broad enough to include notes of conversations taken by the AFP during the raid, should they fall under the definition of privilege Conroy's letter gave.

Conroy says his next move will be to request an action to determine privilege from the Clerk of the Senate, Dr Rosemary Laing.

The ABC has also published a copy of the warrant for the raid here (PDF).

The warrant suggests nbnTM knows which device the leaked documents passed through, since the AFP officers were instructed to look for hints that a Konica Minolta BizHub (with model and probably serial number redacted) is mentioned in what they seized.

The warrant bears out speculation that campaign documents, including the ALP's National Broadband Network policy, could have been swept up.

The warrant included documents that relate to the National Broadband Network, NBN, NBNCo, and e-mails that came from @nbnco.com.au, if “there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that they will afford evidence” about the leaks.

The warrant also notes that the AFP hopes to prosecute the leaker/s under subsection 70(1) of the Crimes Act 1914 and/or section 79(6) of the Crimes Act 1914.

The first carries a maximum penalty of two years' jail for the leaker; while the latter applies the same penalty to the person that receives the document. ®


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