Australia rejects demand to end police probe of reporters

FILE - In this June 27, 2019, photo, whistleblower supporters demonstrate outside the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court in Canberra, Australia, where former army lawyer David William McBride appeared charged with leaking secret documents to Australian Broadcasting Corp. reporters alleging misconduct in Afghanistan. Australian Broadcasting Corp. Managing Director David Anderson says he had written to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton calling for police to drop their investigation of two ABC reporters. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk, File)

CANBERRA, Australia — An Australian government minister has rejected a national broadcaster's demand that police drop an investigation of two journalists who reported classified information.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Nine Network television on Friday that police would decide whether to prosecute Australian Broadcasting Corp. journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark.

ABC management said on Thursday they had written to Dutton calling for police to drop their investigation of the reporters that led to a raid on ABC's Sydney headquarters in June.

The police raid sought documents relating to the Australian Special Air Service Regiment's involvement in Afghanistan.

Police had raided the Canberra home of a News Corp. Australia journalist a day earlier hunting for unrelated documents that formed the basis of an article she wrote more than a year ago.

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