Pay our legal bills: Seven to AFP

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 苏州美睫

Seven West Media says it will be looking at how it can “redress costs” after Australian Federal Police raids on its offices were ruled invalid.

苏州美睫

The AFP raided Seven last month after speculation convicted drug smuggler Schapelle Corby may have breached the proceeds of crime act by engaging in paid interviews following her release from a Bali prison.

But the Federal Court ordered on Wednesday that the raft of search warrants issued to the AFP for the offices of Seven West Media, Pacific Magazines and Addisons Lawyers be quashed.

Seven West welcomed the ruling. The Seven Network has said there was no interview and no payment was involved.

“Seven will seek payment of its legal costs from the AFP and is considering other options available to us to redress the costs of the AFP’s failed investigation,” Seven West Media said in a statement.

A hearing on costs will be held at a later date.

Judge Jayne Jagot said the warrants were “materially affected by legal error” and that none of the parties raided were, or ever could be, suspected of committing an offence.

It comes after the AFP asked the media organisations to produce certain documents during an investigation in early February.

The organisations did.

Among the documents produced was a January letter from New Idea to Corby’s sister Mercedes, confirming an agreement for an exclusive interview with her.

Mercedes would be paid $25,000 within two weeks of the article hitting the stands, it said.

Another letter, this time from Seven Network to Mercedes, outlined an agreement for an “exclusive” interview with journalist Mike Willesee for their program Sunday Night.

The letter recorded Mercedes Corby’s agreement to do the interview and “use her best endeavours” to get her sister involved.

In exchange, Seven would pay for Mercedes, Schapelle and the rest of the Corby family to be located in a secure villa for the duration of the “exclusivity period”.

But following the production of these documents, the AFP said the media organisations had still not complied with the production order and so they applied for and were granted search warrants.

Following furore around the subsequent raids, the AFP confirmed it had made an “innocent word processing error” by saying those searched were “reasonably suspected of having committed” an offence.

Schapelle Corby, 36, spent more than nine years in jail after being found guilty of attempting to smuggle more than four kilograms of marijuana into Bali in a bodyboard bag.

She was released on parole on February 10 and promptly whisked away to a luxury resort.

The AFP is considering whether or not to appeal.

In a statement, Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner said: “Today’s decision represents a victory for free speech given that our hard working and award winning news and public affairs team and people at The West Australian and Pacific Magazines were only doing their job in reporting on a matter of wide public interest.

“We abhor the notion that it is apparently fine to seize journalists’ correspondence, notes or contact lists.”

Handoyo Sudrajat, Indonesia’s Corrections Director General, says information that has come to light as a result of the AFP raids and Seven’s court action will be considered when determining whether Corby’s parole should continue.

“Since the very beginning, (when we have) received such information, (it has) become part of evaluation,” he said on Wednesday.

“But the central parole board is still not finished with their discussion.”

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