Australian police clear 3rd reporter of charges after raids

Australian police clear 3rd reporter of charges after raids


CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Police announced on Thursday that a third journalist will not be charged with obtaining classified information 16 months after high-profile police raids triggered national outrage over the state of press freedom in Australia.

Australian Federal Police targeted Australian Broadcasting Corp. reporter Dan Oakes and his producer Sam Clark when they executed search warrants on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters on June 5 last year.

A day earlier, police had raided the Canberra home of News Corp. journalist Annika Smethurst with warrants to search her house, computer and phone more than a year after she cited “top secret letters” in a newspaper report.

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Oakes on Thursday became the last of the trio to be cleared of charges.

Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Herron’s office had found there were “reasonable prospects” of convicting Oakes on the evidence of obtaining classified government information, a police statement said.

But after considering factors including the role of public interest journalism

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