It has been revealed the AFP approached Qantas for the flight details of a senior ABC journalist as part of the investigation into the ‘Afghan Files’ story.
The request to Qantas was part of the same investigation that prompted the AFP to raid the offices of the ABC’s Ultimo offices last month.
In a document obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald, the AFP indicated it was building a case against ABC senior reporter Dan Oakes.
Qantas obliged with the request and shared the details of two flights made by Oakes in June and September of 2016.
The request was made by the AFP prior to the raids.
“Like all airlines, Qantas receives numerous requests for information from law enforcement agencies and we comply with these requests in accordance with our legal obligations and privacy legislation,” said Qantas about the incident.
The suggestion that the police could be building a case against Oakes will anger many, particularly after Attorney-General Christian Porter last month said there was “absolutely no suggestion that any journalist is the subject of the present investigations”.
This is incredibly disturbing – and the heavy implication that Attorney General Christian Porter is a blatant liar should not go unheeded, #auspol.
Federal police forced Qantas to hand over the private travel records of an ABC journalist – The Age https://t.co/reSo3XkEOf
— Van Badham (@vanbadham) July 7, 2019
An AFP spokesperson said it was “not appropriate to comment” on the possible prosecution of Oakes.
The revelation comes just days after a conglomerate of Australian media companies described a meeting with Porter and communications minister Paul Fletcher regarding the recent raids as “constructive”.
ABC MD David Anderson last month said the broadcaster had asked the court to declare the warrant used during the raids as invalid, on the grounds of “the fundamental importance of investigative journalism and protection of confidential sources”.
The request to Qantas was made roughly six months after former military lawyer David McBride was arrested for leaking the information to the ABC.