Annika Smethurst wins High Court challenge against AFP search warrant

The High Court has delivered a partial victory for News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst in her challenge against the police raid on her home last year, with the court rejecting the search warrant on technical grounds.

The court unanimously ruled the warrant executed at Smethurst’s home was invalid and should be quashed because it “misstated the substance” of relevant criminal laws and was not specific enough about the alleged offences.

News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst, whose home was raided by federal police. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

“The entry, search and seizure which occurred on 4 June 2019 were therefore unlawful,” the court decided, according to the judgment summary.

While ruling the warrant was technically invalid, the court did not deliver the remedy sought by Smethurst’s lawyers, which was that the evidence be destroyed or kept from investigators.


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