Police Phone Taps

NT News - January 31, 2011

On October 21, 2011 I wrote a story for the NT News about a Northern Territory Police Drug Squad raid on the

Quote from NT News article.


house of Darwin Lord Mayor Graeme Sawyer.

The story contained information and quotes from several confidential sources. (Read the NT News article)

NT Police launched an investigation in an attempt to identify my sources.

Under the threat of imprisonment, I refused to reveal the sources I spoke to. (My statement to NT Police)

Without my initial knowledge or consent NT Police accessed my telephone records in an attempt to identify who provide me with information about the raid on the Lord Mayor’s house.

Quote from NT News article.

An independent investigation found NT Police acted ‘unreasonably’ by accessing my telephone records and exposed ‘untruthful’ statements made by NT Police Commissioner John McRoberts. (Read the Ombudsman Report)

The investigation forced Northern Territory Police to change their process when accessing the phone records of private citizens.

Below are a selection of NT News articles detailing the ‘phone tapping’ and subsequent independent investigation.

Yours truly,

Justin O’Brien – Journalist.

Investigation finds accessing Justin O'Brien's phone records was unreasonable.

Police admit mistakes made accessing journalist's phone records.

NT Police Commissioner defends accessing a journalist's phone records.

(Click link to view pdf of original article – NT NEWS 31 Jan 2011)

Investigation critical of NT Police for accessing a journalist's phone records.

Investigation finds statements by NT Police were 'untruthful'.

(click link to view pdf of original article – NT News – Jan 31, 2011)

NT NEWS article reporting on Graeme Sawyer’s court appearance. Feb, 2011

Article reveals the police raid tip-off was made by Saywer's political enemy.

NT Chief Minister admits his staff leaked the Sawyer raid to reporters.

Quote from NT News article.

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