By Lindsay Murdoch
November 9, 2008
Australian Federal Police have launched a high-level investigation into
a security breach involving confidential Australian diplomatic cables
and police documents that were left in open files on a computer and read
by guests at a hotel in Nepal.
Within hours of The Age revealing the breach yesterday, the AFP ordered
an officer based in south Asia to return at once to Australia.
"The breach is believed to have involved an officer using a USB stick in
a hotel computer," the AFP said in a statement.
"The officer allegedly involved in the security breach will be returned
to Australia to assist the investigation."
AFP officers also yesterday apologised to family members of a Melbourne
couple killed in a plane crash near Mount Everest on October 8.
Police photographs of the charred bodies of Andrew Frick McLeod, 31, his
girlfriend Charlene Kate Zamudio, 24, and 16 other crash victims were
left on a computer and could be seen by guests at the Radisson Hotel in
Kathmandu for three weeks, The Age revealed yesterday.
In a statement, the AFP said: "While the full circumstances surrounding
the security breach are yet to be established, the AFP has spoken to the
families of the Australian victims and unreservedly apologised for any
additional distress it may have caused."
The Age revealed documents left on computers in the hotel's business
centre included a copy of a seven-page document detailing priorities and
strategies for the AFP's office in Bangladesh, including information
about sharing intelligence with foreign agencies.
A hotel guest took copies of some of the material and gave them to The
Age so that Australian authorities would be made aware of the security
The Age yesterday gave all its copies to the AFP.
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