Australia’s wealthiest person and the largest shareholder of Fairfax media, Gina Rinehart, has taken legal actions against Fairfax journalist Adele Ferguson in an attempt to force her to reveal her sources.
Following a request from Mrs Rinehart, the Supreme Court of Western Australia has issued a subpoena demanding emails, text messages, notebooks and any recordings of interviews that may have been made between her eldest son, John Hancock, and Ms Ferguson since September 2011.
This whole episode follows John Hancock’s contribution to Ferguson’s unauthorised biography of Mrs Rinehart entitled ‘The Untold Story of the Richest Woman in the World.’ The demand from Mrs Rinehart has arisen as a result of a legal dispute over a trust that controls her family’s iron ore riches.
Ms Ferguson has made a statement to the effect that true to her professional integrity, she will not reveal her sources of information provided to her. The editorial director of Fairfax Metro, Garry Linnell stands behind Ms Ferguson with 100 per cent support.
This constitutes the second time Mrs Rinehart has attempted to subpoena a journalist to reveal their sources. She is currently also pursuing Steve Pennells for recordings and notes that could reveal confidential sources. That case is also being heard in the Western Australian Supreme Court.
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