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    Federal Police Raid Parliament House Over National Broadband Network Leaks

    "This is not a police state, it is a democracy."

    The Australian Federal Police is executing search warrants on Labor staff members in parliament house over documents leaked from the National Broadband Network.

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

    Plain-clothes AFP officers entered parliament house looking for evidence related to the unauthorised leak of NBN documents that were published by four media outlets.

    It's speculated the documents, which showed the NBN was rolling out behind schedule, were leaked by a whistleblower to staff members of Labor senator Stephen Conroy, who then passed them on to the media.

    Wednesday morning's raids are part of an ongoing investigation into these leaks, which the NBN says were the "theft of intellectual property". In May, Conroy's office and the homes of two Labor staff members were raided and a number of documents seized.

    This warrant names two Labor staff members and requires them to hand over all correspondence, records, and documents related to the leaks.

    Specifically the police were looking for evidence of communication between 1 August 2014 and 15 March 2016 between a "yet unidentified place as an yet unidentified Commonwealth office" (sic) that related to the leak, as well as any correspondence with media outlets who published them.

    The five-page warrant allowed the AFP to scour computers (including laptops, hard drives, tablets), storage equipment (USBs, DVDs, CDs and external hard drives), computer data (email account details, logs, scanning, and government records) correspondence, files, documents, diary records, and any notes.

    Here's the search warrant from AFP in Parliament pg1 over NBN leaks

    Labor has accused the prime minister, who was communications minister at the time of the leak, of being in cahoots with the NBN and AFP over the raids.

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE

    Stephen Conroy wants the prime minister to confirm or deny that the government asked NBN Co to refer the leaks to the police. NBN Co is a government-owned corporation.

    The prime minister has dismissed these accusations as ridiculous, saying the AFP acts "independently of government".

    "I've been very disappointed, not for the first time, to hear senator Conroy this morning attack the integrity of the Australian Federal Police," Turnbull said. "He's accused the Australian Federal Police of acting under political direction, which is an outrageous suggestion. He knows that's untrue – he even went so far as to say it's untrue."

    He's accused Conroy of trying to use political influence to stop the AFP investigation and has called for Bill Shorten to "step up" and pull Conroy into line.

    So far all documents seized by police have been claimed as parliamentary privilege by Labor, in a bid Conroy says aims to protect the NBN whistleblower.

    "Parliamentary privilege is a law of Australia and the federal police are fully aware that I have claimed parliamentary privilege over all of the correspondence between myself, staff, [and] staff of other shadow minsters in the course of our duties," he told the ABC.

    All evidence is sitting in the safe of the parliamentary clerk of the Senate, awaiting a vote by parliament to determine whether or not it should fall under parliamentary privilege or be handed over to the police.

    Communications minister Mitch Fifield has dismissed Conroy's claims of whistleblower privilege protection saying the documents were commercial in confidence.

    "NBN is perfectly within its rights to call the federal police to investigate this matter ... It's not for members of parliament to determine what the jurisdiction of the Australian Federal Police is," he said.

    Labor tipped off the media about the search but as it was taking place in a restricted area of the building, filming and photographs weren't allowed. Conroy slammed the restrictions, saying "this is not a police state, it is a democracy".

    Mick Tsikas / AAPIMAGE