The Victorian police officer suspected of being the source for The Australian’s controversial scoop on anti-terrorism raids was charged this Monday by the Victorian Office of Police Integrity. Reporter Cameron Stewart is expected to be a key witness in the resulting trial.

Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Artz was charged with misconduct in public office, unauthorised disclosure of information, attempting to mislead the Director of the Office of Police Integrity and hindering a police officer in the execution of his duty.

The charges relate to Stewart’s story in August last year in which he broke news of a joint Victorian and Federal Police anti-terrorism operation on the very day that raids were conducted and arrests made.

Following the scoop, there was an inquiry into the source of Stewart’s information, the report of which The Australian attempted to suppress through action in the Federal Court. That case settled last month, as reported previously in Crikey.

Meanwhile, there is a continuing inquiry by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity into the circumstances under which Stewart was briefed by the Australian Federal Police on the anti-terrorism operation.

Peter Fray

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