Shaoquett Moselmane staffer John Zhang lodges High Court challenge to investigation into Chinese interference

| 05.08,20. 02:08 PM |

Shaoquett Moselmane staffer John Zhang lodges High Court challenge to investigation into Chinese interference

NSW Labor backbencher Shaoquett Moselmane has denied any wrongdoing.(AAP: Bianca De Marchi)

A staffer of NSW Labor backbencher Shaoquett Moselmane has lodged a High Court challenge to an investigation into Chinese interference.

Part-time staffer John Zhang lodged the case against the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Commissioner and others, after the Sydney homes and offices of Mr Moselmane and Mr Zhang were raided in June.

Mr Moselmane is the subject of an investigation involving the AFP and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) into allegations of interference by the Chinese Communist Party.

If he is charged, he will be the first person to face legal action under Federal Government legislation to counter foreign interference.

Mr Moselmane, who has denied any wrongdoing, is not a party in the High Court case.

Mr Moselmane had his Labor Party membership suspended after the raids and has taken a leave of absence from the NSW Parliament while the investigation takes place.

The ABC has seen documents filed with the High Court by Mr Zhang on Monday.

Mr Zhang is challenging the legality of search warrants used to raid his Macquarie Street office and his Chipping Norton home on June 25 and for another raid on his office on July 23.

He is also calling for an injunction requiring the destruction or return of material seized under the warrants.

Mr Zhang argues that the warrants did not comply with the Crimes Act and that they "impermissibly burden the implied freedom of communication on governmental and political matters contrary to the Commonwealth Constitution".

The papers state that he "has a sufficient interest in having his legal position clarified, which goes beyond a mere intellectual or emotional concern".

The papers also state that Mr Zhang is an Australian citizen who moved to Australia from China in 1989.

They say he has been employed by Mr Moselmane since October 5, 2018.

A hearing date for the matter has not been confirmed.


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