Australian Federal Police raided the Channel 7 headquarters in Sydney this morning as part of an investigation into proceeds of crime payments to drug trafficker Schapelle Corby, who was released from prison on parole in Bali last week.
Seven executive Bruce McWiliam has told The Australian a senior government minister had called to apologise for the raid, which has outraged the network.
The report says Seven last week complied fully with a Proceeds of Crime production order. McWilliams said police today had “barged in wanting to look at the payment registers” and that a government figure had called “to say they did not know this was happening”.
The network is reported to have offered between $1 million and $2 million to secure an interview with Corby, prompting a warning from Indonesian authorities that it could be in breach of her parole and land her back in prison.
Payments for media appearances, including TV interviews and book deals, can be seized by authorities under state and federal proceeds of crime laws.
Corby was ushered into a Channel 7 van by veteran reporter Mike Willesee when she was released from Kerobokan prison last week and the network had access to her family on the day in Australia.
The former beauty student previously avoided having a payment seized for her book deal in 2006 by having $280,000 transferred to her brother’s bank account before it could be stopped by Australian authorities.
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