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ABC offices raided by Australian police

ABC offices raided by Australian police

The AFP haven't ruled out laying charges following its raid on the ABC raid, and its raid on the Canberra home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst for a day earlier.

Ms Buttrose said she would fight "any attempts to muzzle the national broadcaster or interfere with its obligations to the Australian public".

In its statement, News Corp, Australia's biggest newspaper group, called the raid "a unsafe act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths".

On Tuesday, police raided the home of newspaper journalist Annika Smethurst, who reported previous year that the government was considering a secret plan to spy on its citizens.

The Afghan Files were published by the ABC on 10 July 2017.

Meanwhile, the ABC offices in Sydney were also raided for publishing a story back in 2017 alleging Australian soldiers had committed war crimes in Afghanistan.

Officers have said the two searches were not connected to the same case.

The ABC has vowed to protect its sources even as the federal police raid was continuing at the broadcaster's offices in Ultimo.

Smethurst said while she is a fairly hardened journalist who is not easily rattled, the raid on her home was a really "off-putting experience" - particularly the search of her technological devices.

It said neither the journalists nor their sources should be treated as criminals.

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"Public interest is best served by the ABC doing its job, asking hard questions and dealing with genuine whistle-blowers who risk their livelihoods and reputations to bring matters of grave import to the surface".

ABC executive editor John Lyons said the search warrant demanded access to reporters' handwritten notes, emails, story drafts, footage and passwords, among other things - going through a total of 9,214 documents.

Australian law forbids officials from disclosing secret information, and the police warrants in both raids were based on a law enacted in 1914.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison distanced himself from the raids, saying they were a police matter.

Annika Smethurst's employer News Corp Australia had condemned the raids as 'outrageous and heavy-handed'.

"That is an authoritarian state choosing which implement they will use to bastardise the media and bring them to heel", said Manning, the former head of ABC's flagship News and Current Affairs division. A spokesperson would not confirm or deny the existence of the investigation.

Managing Director at the ABC, David Anderson, said in a statement that the raids raised "legitimate concerns over freedom of the press".

Labor leader Anthony Albanese and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton have traded barbs amid questions about Australia's press freedom.

Also on Tuesday, Ben Fordham, a broadcaster for radio station 2GB, said that the government was investigating how he obtained information that up to six boats carrying asylum seekers had recently tried to reach Australia.

"Police will allege the unauthorised disclosure of these specific documents undermines Australia's national security", it said in a statement, adding that no one had been arrested during the operation.