The Labor Party has claimed a National Broadband Network (NBN) employee took photos of seized documents during late night raids on its offices and forwarded them on to colleagues.
Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers executed the warrants on shadow communications minister Stephen Conroy's office, and the home of Labor party adviser Andy Byrne shortly before 11pm on Thursday night, and did not leave until just before 6am Friday.
The AFP confirmed the NBN staffer was present to identify documents during the raids upon Labor's Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices and took 32 photos of seized documents on his mobile phone.
Police said it was normal operational procedure for the NBN officer to be at the raids but the Labor party question why he was allowed to take photos and allegedly disseminate them.
It's unclear which documents were forwarded on, to whom they were sent, and for what purposes.
In a strongly-worded letter obtained by BuzzFeed News, Labor's lawyer Paul Galbally asks AFP Commander Paul Osborne why the NBN staffer allegedly forwarded on pictures of the seized documents after it was agreed they should be deleted.
The letter questions under whose authority the NBN staffer was acting when he forwarded on the documents.
Senior Labor sources have confirmed to BuzzFeed News they suspect one of the documents photographed by the NBN staffer was the party's yet to be released NBN policy.
The Labor Party want the NBN staffer to provide it and the AFP with a list of all the people the documents were forwarded to, so they can be tracked down and deleted.
Karina Keisler, the Executive General Manager of Corporate Affairs at NBN Co, tweeted on Friday the staff was just following the instructions of the AFP.
Shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus says the government has questions to answer over its role in the AFP’s investigation.
BuzzFeed News has asked the AFP and NBN Co why photographs of the documents were forwarded on, and whether all copies of of the photographs will be tracked down and deleted.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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