'No police probe' over Julia Gillard protest leak

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is bundled out of a restaurant by security service agents after it was surrounded by Aboriginal rights protesters in Canberra on 26 January, 2012
Image caption Ms Gillard was rushed away from the protests, losing her shoe in the process

Police in Australia have ruled out an investigation into an information leak that led to last week's angry protests.

Bodyguards had to rush PM Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott from a Canberra restaurant after it was surrounded by demonstrators.

An aide to Ms Gillard later resigned after admitting he had disclosed Mr Abbott's location.

The opposition want a probe into the disclosure but police said no evidence of a criminal act had been identified.

"The AFP (Australian Federal Police) can confirm it became aware of information concerning the alleged disclosure of information on the location of the Leader of the Federal Opposition, Mr Tony Abbott, during Australia Day," a police spokeswoman told Australian media.

"The AFP subsequently evaluated the information and no evidence of a criminal act was identified. As such, the AFP is not conducting an investigation."

'Not authorised'

Bodyguards and riot police had to help evacuate Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott from the restaurant on Thursday - Australia Day - after an angry crowd surrounded the venue.

The protesters, from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, were reportedly angered by comments Mr Abbott had made earlier in the day.

He had questioned the relevance of the camp - established in 1972 as a protest over indigenous land rights - in light of current plans to recognise indigenous people in the country's constitution.

The protesters saw the remarks as suggesting that it was time for the camp to come down.

Ms Gillard's press secretary, Tony Hodges, later resigned after admitting he disclosed Mr Abbott's comments and location to a union official who in turn informed the protesters.

"Mr Hodges in taking these actions acted alone and his actions were not authorised. Clearly they are viewed by me as unacceptable," the prime minister said on Saturday.

But the opposition have called for a police probe, with MP Christopher Pyne saying: "The whole thing has become so murky the only way to get to the bottom of exactly what happened and why and who was responsible is for the Australian Federal Police to investigate it."

Police meanwhile say they are continuing to investigate the actions of the protesters last week.

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