Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said confidence in the independence of the police had been undermined following a raid last night on the Melbourne office of Labor Senator Stephen Conroy.
“We…need to be concerned about the appearance of police work. We need to be concerned about building confidence in our police and our agencies and for this raid to have been conducted, for the NBN Co to have pressed for an investigation and it to be brought in, in the way it which it has during an election campaign, that raises questions. It does undermine confidence in the independence of the police,” he told ABC Radio National.
Meanwhile, Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin strongly denied suggestions of any political involvement in the raids, which relate to leaked internal documents from the NBN.
“Let me say up front for the record, the AFP always acts independently and within the law,” Colvin said.
“In regard to government and political influence that has been commented on this morning there has been ... no influence on the AFP in the conduct of this investigation.”
He said the timing of the raids, which has been called into question by opposition figures, was “determined by the investigation”.
The Labor Party has since claimed parliamentary privilege on the seized documents, meaning the AFP no longer have access to them. Colvin confirmed that the documents have now been sealed.
“They will be lodged in the Senate and a process will be put into play by the parliament to determine if parliamentary privilege is afforded to those documents,” Colvin said.
“It is not necessarily the case that parliamentary privilege will be afforded to those documents.”
As parliament has dissolved until after the election in July, the AFP will have to wait for the matter can be decided, he said.