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Former Australian army lawyer in court over leak to media

CANBERRA, Australia — A former Australian army lawyer charged with leaking secret documents to journalists says his prosecution is not about protecting national security but concealing “a national shame.”

David William McBride made his first appearance in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court on Thursday on charges relating to the leaking of classified documents about Australian Special Air Service involvement in Afghanistan to Australian Broadcasting Corp. journalists.

The leak was the target of a police raid on ABC headquarters in Sydney last week. The raid and another in a News Corp. reporter’s home have been criticized as attempts to intimidate media and led to complaints that Australian security laws undermine press freedom.

McBride represented himself during his brief court appearance and was released on bail to appear in court next on June 27.

The Associated Press