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Senior Australian public servant steps aside during probe of encrypted texts to premiers’ friend

Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A senior Australian public servant has stepped aside while an investigation is underway into allegations that he sent encrypted messages to undermine some ministers and promote others to further his own career. Michael Pezzullo has been secretary of the Department of Home Affairs since it was created in 2017. A television network and newspapers owned by Nine Entertainment published messages on Sunday and Monday that he had allegedly exchanged over a period of five years with businessman Scott Briggs, who was close to former conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull. Pezzullo’s job required him to remain apolitical and independent of politics. Pezzullo could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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Associated Press


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