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Downer won't deny his office leaked to [Andrew] Bolt.



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KEVIN RUDD M.P.

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Security

DOWNER WON’T DENY HIS OFFICE LEAKED TO BOLT

240 days after the Herald Sun published excerpts from a top secret national security document on Iraq, Alexander Downer in Parliament today refused to rule out that it was his office which leaked the document.

In Senate estimates the head of ONA has now confirmed that a copy of the top secret document Iraq: Humanitarian Consequences was requested just prior to the Andrew Bolt article appearing on 23 June 2003.

This was fully six months after the “return or destroy” document was circulated within the Government as a part of its normal distribution.

The article in question attempted systematically to discredit Andrew Wilkie’s stance on the Iraq war.

This comes after a week of the Government briefing journalists on the upcoming release of the parliamentary report into the pre-war intelligence on Iraq in a campaign of political spin.

National security is not a game.

It’s difficult to have confidence in Mr Downer when he treats it as such.

Media contact: Alister Jordan 0417 605 823

Ends. 18 February 2004