Posting photos of the search warrant, he revealed it named ABC journalists Dan Oakes and Sam Clark and news director Gaven Morris and captured an “extraordinary range” of subjects.
He revealed that the warrant empowered police and their “digital forensics” experts to access a vast array of documents, data and devices, including journalists’ notes, draft versions of the story in question, raw footage, meeting minutes and emails.
Just before 1pm, the cops were onto him: “The AFP have just realised I’m live tweeting the raid and raised it with me. I’ve said I think ABC staff and others have a right to know about a raid on our premises. I’ve said I won’t use any names of alleged sources or confidential material. They’ve accepted this.”
As of 2pm, the police had downloaded 9214 files that were found in a keyword search. Lyons followed along as they went through them “one by one” to decide what fell within the scope of the warrant and could therefore be taken away as part of the investigation.
“This is a bizarre situation,” he tweeted at one point. “I’m sitting in a room with 6 AFP officers conducting a raid who seem to be reading my tweets!”
Stepping away from his live tweeting, Lyons did a brief interview with 2GB broadcaster Ben Fordham and with ABC TV host Patricia Karvelas as the raid dragged on.
He said the police were trying to “send a message” to journalists and accused them of violating the free press.
“I was planning on having a very quiet night watching a game of football but I’ll stay here,” he said. “It could go on for hours, if not days.”