ABC uncovers massive leak of classified government documents in second-hand cabinet


The Australian government unwittingly committed a "monumental" security lapse when it sold two file cabinets chock full of classified documents - to a second-hand furniture store.

31 de enero de 2018, 10:41Camberra, Jan 31 (Prensa Latina) The government of Australia ordered today to investigate how almost 200 secret and classified documents revealed by the ABC local chain went to a second-hand furniture store here.

"Certainly someone needs to pay a price, there needs to be some outcome for what is a monumental lapse", said former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose own administration's foibles were laid bare in the Cabinet Files.

ASIO officers retrieved papers in Canberra, Melbourne and Brisbane late Thursday evening, which had been temporarily stored in safes on ABC premises.

"The royal commission into the home insulation programme had unprecedented access to cabinet material and made no adverse finding against Mr Rudd", he said in a statement.

When they were finally cracked open, it was discovered that they contained a massive stack of classified documents.

Rudd was quoted in the ABC's story rejecting any assertion that he was warned of the safety risks to installers, or failed to act on such warnings, before the deaths of the young men in 2010.

The drawers were locked shut and came without their respective keys - pretty useless to the casual observer, but they were purchased nonetheless.

Hundreds of top-secret documents, which can embarrass multiple Australian governments of the recent past, have been found in a second-hand furniture shop in Canberra.

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He suggested the departmental investigation may not go far enough.

If they were, it would mean Rudd lied to the Royal Commission into the program when he said that safety risks had never been reported - a line the Liberals have argued for years.

The former Prime Minister also claimed the risks referred to in the cabinet document refer to "financial and administrative risks to the program for the Commonwealth" and "not safety risks to workers".

In an interview on ABC television Wednesday night, Australia's opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten said the situation was "absurd".

"Obviously someone's had a shocker and the investigation will find out exactly how this happened", he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Media organisations argued the new legislation would make publishing and reporting on such documents illegal. The classifications include "top secret", "sensitive", "Australian eyes only" and "cabinet-in-confidence".

"Therefore under this bill they are defined as inherently harmful information".

The legislation is now being considered by parliament's intelligence and security committee.