38-year-old Joana Partyka, a climate activist is expected to appeal against her conviction and fine for failing to allow police to access her mobile phone and laptop.
Partyka pleaded not guilty in the Perth magistrates court to two charges of failing to obey a data access order. The orders had been sought by Western Australian police investigating climate activists from the Disrupt Burrup Hub group.
The group has since claimed responsibility for a series of high-profile protests opposing an expansion of Woodside’s operations in the Pilbara region. This is the second time an activist from the group has been convicted and fined for failing to comply with a data access order, with at least five others charged with similar offences.
Partyka, who also works for the Australian Greens, had her mobile phone and laptop seized from her apartment in March. The devices allegedly contained confidential Australian Greens political information and a list of about 200,000 party donors.
According to reports, Partyka told the court in September she asked the Greens for permission to allow police access to her devices but was told it would breach her employment contract, which could result in dismissal.
Magistrate Andrew Maughan handed down his judgment on Monday saying Partyka’s “belief, although perhaps honestly held, was not objectively reasonable given the situation she found herself (in)”.
He said that it was uncontentious that Partyka was subjected to an employment contract that stated she not disclose or discuss any Australian Greens information or data to any third party without their consent. Partyka, who is a campaigner for the Disrupt Burrup Hub group, was fined $1,200 plus court costs.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.