– One of Julia Gillard’s advisers was acting “within the scope of his duties” when he passed on information that unwittingly led to Australia Day protests, police say.
Federal police documents, released under Freedom Of Information, show Tony Hodges passed on “accurate” information about Tony Abbott to union official Kim Sattler.
Information included that Mr Abbott had said Aboriginal activists should “move on” from issues that led to the formation of the Canberra tent embassy, and that the Opposition Leader was at the nearby Lobby restaurant.
The information was used to fuel a protest that led to Ms Gillard being dragged from the Lobby by security guards, losing her shoe.
The AFP documents say information held by Mr Hodges, who quit following the protests, was “in the public domain” prior to his phone call to Ms Sattler.
The question of Mr Hodges’ judgement was “outside” the scope of the AFP’s evaluation”.
The documents show that Ms Sattler poorly translated Mr Hodge’s information, as she told Aboriginal activist Barbara Shaw that Mr Abbott wanted to “pull down” the tent embassy.
Ms Shaw conveyed Ms Sattler’s translation to protesters, who stormed the restaurant and caused the security threat.
The documents are a result of a lengthy investigation by police, after a referral from Shadow Attorney-General George Brandis.
Police found the protests were a product of miscommunication and a “lack of foresight” by protagonists, including Mr Hodges and Ms Sattler.
Police found there was no evidence of “criminal offences such as unlawful disclosure or incitement to affray”. The investigation found there was “no evidence of criminal conduct by any other person within the Prime Minister’s office” – Matt Johnston


About Jumpin' Jack Cash
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