ASIO Steps In To Secure Documents

03 February, 2018, 01:44 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • It wasn’t him

"A nifty person drilled the locks and uncovered the trove of documents inside", ABC News said on its website, saying the cabinets were "purchased for small change".

Abbott was Prime Minister of Australia for two years from 2013-2015, the files also reportedly cover his predecessor Julia Gillard's government. The 195 documents included plans to protect the United Arab Emirates from Iranian hostilities, national security briefs, Afghan war updates, intelligence on Australia's neighbours, profiles of terrorism suspects and issues around Australian defence force operations in Afghanistan.

Early this morning ASIO provided the ABC with a new locked cabinet to secure the documents during the negotiations for their surrender.

ABC said the buyer, who has not been identified, found mostly classified papers spanning almost a decade and four prime ministers, most recently Tony Abbott.

ABC made a decision to publish some of the files, containing information regarding Australia's counterterrorism strategies, missile upgrades and terror suspect profiles, because "national security and the inner workings of our governments affect the lives of all Australians".

They cover five separate governments, and numerous files would legally have remained secret for 20 years.

They were unopened for several months until someone used a drill to get into the drawers, finding a trove of documents detailing nearly a decade of government workings, the ABC said.

"The documents remain the property of the Commonwealth of Australia", adding that the department is working closely with ASIO and the Australian Federal Police to find out how the cabinets ended up for sale.

Oh, there's also a Tony Abbott snipe in there, too. They were both locked and no set of keys was provided with them.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says he has begun legal proceedings against the ABC in the wake of the national broadcaster publishing a story on the Labor government's fatal home insulation from leaked Cabinet documents.

The ABC didn't reveal how it received the documents.

The documents were seized as part of an agreement struck with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's department, which is investigating how the documents came to be sold through a Canberra shop, the ABC and the government said in a joint statement. According to the ABC report, Morrison arranged delays in security checks so that people who were close to being granted permanent protection would miss the deadline. According to a government stocktake contained in the secret cabinet files, the documents lost by the AFP belong to the powerful National Security Committee (NSC) of the cabinet.



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