Police response to IPCA findings
Please attribute to Assistant Commissioner Bill Searle:
Police acknowledge the findings of the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report into the 2014 search of a property belonging to Nicky Hager.
The report finds that there was no evidence by the officers involved of an intent to deceive the judge in the preparation of the search warrant, and no misconduct by any individual officer.
The report also notes there is no evidence that the officers were acting in bad faith or deliberately set out to undermine the claim of privilege during the execution of the search warrant.
The Authority does however find deficiencies in the policy in place at the time of the warrant, plus other actions taken by Police.
In the ensuing years these issues have been heard and clarified throughout a number of legal proceedings including at the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
The IPCA report again confirms there is no suggestion that officers acted deliberately to subvert or circumvent their legal duties.
Police note the matters examined in this report have been well traversed.
In June 2018 we acknowledged processes used to obtain the search warrant and request information about Mr Hager were unlawful, for which we have both apologised and reached a confidential settlement including costs and damages.
Police have also made revisions to the Police manual where it concerns privilege, to clarify officer responsibilities and to set out the procedures that must be followed when privilege is claimed or raised.
The IPCA has reviewed the revised policy and is satisfied that, in this respect, it appropriately addresses the issues raised by this case.