Australian Federal Police Commissioner Andrew Colvin said on Friday that the Malcolm Turnbull government was not informed in advance of the AFP raids on Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy’s office and the home of a senior Labor staffer last night. The AFP also revealed that the NBN Co had called for an investigation into the alleged leak of documents.
A press conference was called by Colvin to stress on the fact that the raids were carried out on operational purposes and without the knowledge of the federal government. He added that the documents were leaked even while the raids were on.
“Timing is determined by the investigation,” The Australian quoted him as telling reporters in Canberra. “The fact that the offending we believe has continued throughout this investigation – and I note the investigation wasn’t public, which has probably aided our investigation in many ways – that has helped us to determine … our operational strategy.”
The raid was carried out in response to allegations of a leak of confidential National Broadband Network documents. The matter was referred to AFP by NBN on December 9 and the investigations started since then.
The AFP raided the parliamentary office of Conroy in Melbourne and a house on Allan Street in Brunswick which is the home of Labor’s communication spokesman Jason Clare’s staffer. The Guardian reported that the name of another Labor staffer is also on the warrant.
Labor leader Bill Shorten described the raids as “an extraordinary development” and said that they relate to incidents that took place at the time Turnbull was the communications minister. According to Anthony Albanese, a Labor frontbencher, it is quite extraordinary that the AFP left a staffer’s home just half an hour earlier, as he spoke on Friday morning.
“What that means is that it has been quite an extraordinary raid, over an extensive period of time, in extraordinary circumstances during an election campaign,” he told the Nine Network.