AFP Raid Home Of Former Spy Agency Officer, Husband Of Iraqi Ambassador
Federal police have raided the Canberra home of a former government adviser who also worked for a spy agency, and is married to Australia's ambassador to Iraq.
Australian Federal Police officers swarmed a Canberra home around 9am on Wednesday morning, combing through it for evidence.
The home raided by the AFP belongs to Cameron Gill, who worked as an intelligence officer for the Australian Signals Directorate, one of Australia's most secretive government agencies. He was also previously a senior adviser to a federal minister.
His wife, Dr Joanna Loundes, is the Australian Ambassador to Iraq.
The AFP have confirmed to 10 News First that the raid "relates to a Commonwealth official", but declined to explain further what exactly the raid was linked to.
In a statement, an AFP spokesperson confirmed the raid was occurring in a suburb nearby Parliament House.
"This activity does not relate to any current or impending threat to the Australian community," the spokesperson said.
"As this is an ongoing matter, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time."
10 News First's Jonathan Lea attempted to speak to police and the owner on Wednesday morning, but was asked to leave the premises. He said officers left the premises with bags of evidence.
By Wednesday afternoon, a crowd of media had appeared at the home, as the police operation continued.
Update. Two lots of police have left with evidence bags in their possession. Tight lipped and steely eyed. A door knock of the home owner currently being done. Lawyer also still inside. @10NewsFirst #auspol pic.twitter.com/EpK8dNsSig— Jonathan Lea (@JonathanLea10) September 4, 2019
It comes on the back of twin raids in June on the ABC's headquarters in Sydney, and the Canberra home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst. Those raids related to investigations into leaks of sensitive information on national security matters published by the outlets.
Those operations were met with a huge swell of outrage from the media and members of the general public.
On Wednesday, South Australian senator Rex Patrick called on the AFP to provide further details on the raid, and "clarify the purpose" of the operation.
"Is this raid leak related?" he asked, referring to the operations targeting journalists.
News Corp responded to the raid on Wednesday afternoon.
"We have always said the AFP raids on journalists were not intended to intimidate journalists but the people who have the courage to talk to journalists," said Campbell Reid, group executive corporate affairs, policy and government relations.
“Today we are seeing that process of intimidation continue."
More to come.