01 August 2012

ADF search warrants clarification

The Australian Department of Defence has examined an allegation published in articles by Mr Ian McPhedran of News Ltd dated 28 July 2012 titled, Defence Force investigators use illegal warrant, and 31 July 2012 titled, Black eye triggered an illegal inquiry.

Both articles claim that a search warrant used by Defence investigators was unlawful because the warrant and the affidavit supporting it were signed by two different senior officers.  Defence claims this assertion is wrong at law – the affidavit and the warrant do not have to be signed by the same person and in most instances can and will be signed by different people. The purpose of the affidavit supporting a ‘proposed search warrant’ is to provide the person approving the search warrant the basis upon which the search warrant is sought.

In a prepared statement, Defence states that "as the search warrants for which the author refers are part of Briefs of Evidence which are the subject of ongoing investigations and trials, it is inappropriate to comment any further."

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