By Byron Kaye
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian authorities on Thursday dropped an investigation right into a journalist accused of receiving labeled info to supply a report on alleged troop misconduct in Afghanistan, the second media probe dismissed amid issues over press freedom.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) mentioned it believed it had “cheap prospects of conviction” however the prosecutor’s workplace needed the investigation into Australia Broadcasting Corp (ABC) journalist Daniel Oakes dropped as there was no public curiosity in persevering with.
“The general public curiosity doesn’t require a prosecution within the specific circumstances of this case,” the AFP mentioned in an announcement.
The choice closes an anxious chapter for Australian media retailers which final 12 months decried raids on the ABC head workplace and the house of a Information Corp newspaper editor over successive days in relation to tales they’d run.
The ABC had mentioned the investigation into its reporter was in relation to 2017 tales about alleged troop misconduct in Afghanistan, and concerned the police inspecting some 9,000 laptop recordsdata on the state-funded broadcaster.
“Whereas we welcome this resolution, we additionally keep the view the matter ought to by no means have gone this far,” ABC managing director David Anderson mentioned in an announcement on Thursday.
“This complete episode has been each disappointing and disturbing.”
The AFP dropped its case towards the Information Corp editor in Could because of inadequate proof after a court docket dominated the warrant used to raid the journalist’s dwelling was invalid.
“No journalist ought to need to endure what @DanielMOakes went via for greater than two years,” mentioned Marcus Strom, president of the Media, Leisure and Arts Alliance in a tweet.
“Legal guidelines that criminalise nationwide safety reporting stay on the books. We want pressing reform.”
Oakes, the ABC reporter, retweeted a submit from the broadcaster’s director of stories, Gaven Morris, which described the choice as “justice in the end”.
(Reporting by Byron Kaye; Enhancing by Michael Perry)