Former MP Dennis Jensen fails in legal bid to find out who leaked erotic novel to journalist


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The articles broke the information Mr Jensen had written a fictional novel with graphic intercourse scenes, and in addition detailed info of his confidential pre-selection utility and separation from his then-wife.

Mr Jensen claimed the data leaked to the journalist might have come from his political opponents for the good thing about now Liberal Tangney member, Ben Morton’s pre-selection.

Mr Burrell stated he was not conscious who despatched him the extracts from Mr Jensen’s guide, The Sky Warriors, or the accompanying letter on parliamentary letterhead, pitching the novel to a writer.

Throughout proof, Mr Burrell stated he discovered the extract from the guide and the quilt letter in an A4 envelope on his desk with no additional info as to who had despatched it.

Mr Burrell reported Mr Jensen had used the parliamentary letterhead to help him in his efforts to seal a guide deal, nonetheless Mr Jensen claims he doesn’t recall making ready or signing the letter, and the guide company by no means obtained it.

Mr Jensen argued if he had despatched the letter, he might have been liable to be prosecuted for corruption or topic to a parliamentary requirements committee.

Journalist, Andrew Burrell

Journalist, Andrew Burrell Credit score:Twitter

Sources additionally despatched Mr Burrell copies of Mr Jensen’s confidential pre-selection utility for Tangney, an e mail Mr Jensen despatched his Liberal get together colleagues encouraging them to help a distinct political get together, and particulars about Mr Jensen’s private life and the way he had left his household dwelling.

Mr Jensen claims revealed details about the timing of his marriage breakdown was incorrect.

He stated he wanted to know who the sources had been who supplied info to Mr Burrell as a way to reply to a counterclaim the journalist has lodged towards him.

The counter defamation declare pertains to essential feedback Mr Jensen made about Mr Burrell on Perth radio stations after the articles had been revealed.

The ‘newspaper rule’ means a court docket can not order a media organisation or its journalists to reveal the id of a confidential supply of knowledge in a defamation motion except it’s essential within the pursuits of justice or different particular circumstances exist.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court docket dominated The Australian and Mr Burrell not be pressured to disclose the identities of its sources, and that Mr Jensen as a substitute have entry to the leaked info, however with any figuring out info redacted.

The judgment additionally discovered there was nothing unreasonable about publishing an article a few politician utilizing info supplied by a political opponent who’s motivated by a need to decrease the political standing of their rival.

“To carry in any other case can be to impose a really vital restriction on the reporting of political affairs,” the judgment learn.

“Reporting on the rivalry between opponents within the political enviornment based mostly on info supplied by these opponents, or individuals related to them, within the expectation that it might harm the political prospects of a competitor is the usual fare of political journalists.”

The defamation case is due again earlier than the Supreme Court docket in three weeks.

Heather McNeill is a Fairfax Media journalist based mostly in Western Australia with a ardour for overlaying breaking information, crime and courts and Aboriginal affairs.

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