|Australia Law Human Rights Media|
Anti-corruption independent politician (photo) targeted by South Australian Police, computers and phone seized
In ongoing developments in South Australia, not Libya or Iran as readers may be forgiven for thinking, the independent politician Mark Aldridge of the Australian Alliance today had his computers taken away from his home by South Australia’s Police (SAPOL).
This comes hours after an ongoing court case brought by the police against a lawyer involved in legal reform efforts today mentioned in court Aldridge’s blog as having an article “aiming to influence the jury” in the case.
Aldridge today asked his wife to pull down the article on a temporary basis while seeking clarification of the situation. This has not prevented the police from apparently raiding his house and removing his computers and mobile phone.
The Mathaba News Agency which also reported on this and the apparent efforts of The Advertiser newspaper to influence the jury in the case, on request of Mathaba News Australia briefly removed the article on the request of Aldridge, but only for half an hour before putting it back up in the public interest.
This news agency believes very strongly, as explained on our About us page, in the rights and freedoms which rest on an uncensored independent media working in the public interest and in line withinternational laws to which Australia is signatory.
Mathaba usually only removes or corrects articles that have been found to be incorrect, not under pressure or threat.
These are certainly worrying developments when an independent politician who recently launched the Australian Alliance and is campaigning against political corruption and for legal reform of the justice system, has been the subject already of police harassment known to this agency and is today targeted in this way.
The Advertiser newspaper which is the sole newspaper in Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, and is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, already seems to be very worried at the launch of an independent news service for Australia.
It was learned from Mark Aldridge today that when he entered the court around 10.15am local time, the talk was already about his blog and theMathaba News Agency and claims that the published articles were attempts to influence the jury in the favour of Mr Morcom.
We are informed that the jury were instructed by the judge not to visit any online web sites for the duration of the trial. However, The Advertiser being the main source of news and information in print, the jury were not told not to read the paper, in spite of its already clear attempts to sway public opinion against Morcom.
The allegation that Mathaba News should be involved in trying to influence a jury in Adelaide is not only absurd but highly offensive to a long-established independent news network operating for 13 years with an excellent reputation among readers worldwide.
We have not been contacted by any party concerning the article, so these claims appear to be disingenuous and opportunistic. Further, our readership in Adelaide is certainly dwarfed by the readership of The Advertiser which was not sanctioned by the court for its obvious slant in this article published ahead of the trial.
We urge international and national organisations concerned with human rights, law, democracy and transparency, to support this agency in this matter should we find we are unable to continue our independent news coverage of Australia.
Please contact us for further information.
— Mathaba News Australia is published here. If updates are missing for more than 24 hours, this may indicate that also our editors in Australia have been affected.