Independent Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross has been stopped by the High Court from publishing sensitive documents sent to him in error by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
Ross and three others face charges by the SFO over allegations about two $100,000 donations to the National Party. Ross vehemently denies the charges.
The case involving donations came to the fore after Ross made it public in 2018 while dramatically exiting the National Party. He made a complaint to the police that was referred to the SFO.
The SFO said in a press release last Thursday that it welcomed a court decision confirming the confidentiality of material that was inadvertently disclosed by the agency to the defendants in the National Party donations case.
“The material was disclosed recently during the course of the agency’s compliance with its normal disclosure obligations,” the SFO statement said.
“The SFO acted with an abundance of care in seeking the court order as one of the parties had reportedly expressed an interest in publishing the material.
“The agency believes that any publication of the material would have breached the SFO’s secrecy provisions and been contrary to requirements of confidentiality applying to the use of material obtained through court proceedings.
“However, the SFO sought a court order to ensure there was no doubt that the material remained confidential.
The SFO takes every step necessary to protect the security and confidentiality of material received in the course of an investigation.”
Ross has been approached for comment.