Australian military absolves itself over ministerial spy scandal

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Last March, the Australian press published allegations that the Australian military spied on the country’s defence minister because of his intimate relationship with a Chinese woman. According to the allegations, the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), the Australian military’s communications interception organization, spied on defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon’s private communications and hacked into his computer. The purpose of the alleged operation was to gather information about the minister’s relationship with Helen Liu, a Chinese businesswoman with reported ties to the Chinese military. Last week however, the Australian Defence Department secretary, Nick Warner, released a declassified report detailing the outcome of the Department’s own investigation into the allegations. Predictably, the Department cleared itself of all of the spying allegations, stating that it “found no evidence to support allegations that defence officials had investigated either the minister or Ms Liu”. What is more, secretary Warner argued that the investigation showed that “no defence authority or intelligence agency was [even] aware of Ms Liu” before the allegations surfaced in the press last March. It appears that minister Fitzgibbon is determined to stay silent about the report findings, possibly awaiting the ongoing inquiry by the Intelligence and Security Directorate, which oversees Australia’s intelligence services. His political reputation has already suffered significantly, as shortly after the scandal erupted he was forced to reveal to parliament a number of personal trips to China which were reportedly paid for by Liu.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

One Response to Australian military absolves itself over ministerial spy scandal

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