The Oz is accused by one defence barrister of ...
... running the Australian Federal Police's line.
"It is highly prejudicial," he said.
"We can expect politicians and police commissioners to do likewise later this morning.
"They need to be very careful in what they say - tainting the atmosphere as they did when they arrested my client and his co-accused in late 2005.
He said the newspaper's role was "extraordinary" and raised serious questions about police conduct.
"They appear to have been given advance notice of the AFP raids, something (which) is clearly unethical conduct on the part of police authorities."
On the other hand, Victorian Police Commissioner Simon Overland also didn't have nice things to say about the paper.
"Obviously there was reporting of these raids in The Australian newspaper this morning and I am extremely disappointed the details of this operation have been leaked and I will be vigorously pursuing the leak from my end - and I expect the Federal authorities will be doing the same" ...
"The AFP negotiated with The Australian newspaper as I am advised in terms of having this story run today. I am concerned that despite those negotiations copies of that paper – I am told – were available at 1:30am this morning, well before the raids were carried out."
"This in my view represents an unacceptable risk to the operation and an unacceptable risk to my staff. It's a risk I take extremely seriously."
So on the one hand, The Oz is running the police line while on the other hand it is endangering police lives and a sensitive investigation into an attack that could have taken many more lives.
More on this story later.
Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf
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