Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Inquiry into source of alleged terror plot le -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: As police continue with their investigation, more questions are being asked today
about just who was responsible for leaking the details of the operation to a newspaper.

An assistant New South Wales police commissioner says the raids were brought forward because of the

And there is now concern about a rift between the AFP and the Victorian police.

In Melbourne, Lexi Metherell reports.

LEXI METHERELL: Briefing the media after yesterday's counter terrorism raids and after the details
of Operation Neath were splashed across the front page of the Australian newspaper, Victoria's
chief police commissioner, Simon Overland, was fuming.

SIMON OVERLAND: I am extremely disappointed that the details of this operation have leaked in the
way that they have and we'll be vigorously pursuing the leak from my end, and I expect that the
federal authorities will be doing the same thing.

LEXI METHERELL: At his side, was the acting commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Tony
Negus, but he didn't appear quite as worked up.

TONY NEGUS: As Simon said, it's unfortunate that that was published before the execution of the
warrants; we expected that would be later in the morning.

LEXI METHERELL: Peter Dean is an assistant commissioner of the New South Wales Police and is
responsible for counter terrorism operations. He's told Radio National Breakfast the leak forced
the police to bring forward the raids.

PETER DEAN: You saw how one of the national newspapers had written it up on the front page
yesterday, that can't be denied that there was an influence in the timing of the raids yesterday
for sure.

LEXI METHERELL: Simon Overland's fury has not gone unnoticed. Greg Barton is a politics professor
at Monash University.

GREG BARTON: He was not a happy camper clearly, he clearly didn't have his way with that
arrangement and didn't think it was appropriate from everything he said.

LEXI METHERELL: The journalist who broke the story, Cameron Stewart, says he'd been sitting on it
since last Thursday at the AFP's request. On Monday night he says he got the okay from the AFP to
publish the next day.

CAMERON STEWART: The AFP is fine with this, they don't have the same level of gripes that Simon
Overland has.

LEXI METHERELL: Greg Barton says Simon Overland's concern for his officers and for the operation is
justified. He says vital evidence could have been destroyed because of the leak.

GREG BARTON: The Australians' defence that they were going with a late edition, they didn't
(inaudible) the early edition doesn't explain the fact that they would have been type-setting and
printing and dispatching those late edition papers well before the raids had begun.

LEXI METHERELL: He says there appears to be potentially worrying tensions between Victoria Police
and the AFP.

GREG BARTON: One of the lessons of 9-11 is that lack of good inter-agency cooperation really costs
us on the counter-terrorism front. We might think it's a small thing, but the failure to share
information in a timely fashion or share it fully can lead to Australian (inaudible) to put
together the pieces and get the full story before something happens.

Now, nothing had happened here, but any sign of inter-agency tension is a bad thing.

LEXI METHERELL: Victoria's Office of Police Integrity is investigating whether the leak came from
Victoria Police but it can't investigate the federal police. The AFP's oversight body is the
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity but it won't confirm or deny whether an
investigation is taking place.

ASIO was one of the agencies involved in the operation but nor will it confirm whether an
investigation will be held. Greg Barton doubts the spy agency is responsible for the leak.

GREG BARTON: That would be extremely surprising; ASIO is in the business of intelligence and
security, that's all they do. The police do many things, ASIO just does one thing.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Lexi Metherell reporting. Greg Barton, political professor at Monash
University there, and the AFP has this morning confirmed that the leak was referred to its
oversight body and professional standards department last Friday after the AFP first became aware
of the leak.