Secret listening device put in Di Sanh Duong’s factory as part of ASIO investigation6th April 2021
The prosecution of a Melbourne man who is the first person to be charged under Australia’s foreign interference laws will be delayed as police sift through a mountain of evidence, including hours of intercepted communications and secret recordings.
Di Sanh Duong, a former Liberal Party candidate, was charged in November with preparing an act of foreign interference within Australia following a year-long investigation by counter-espionage agency ASIO and the Australian Federal Police.
On Tuesday investigators applied to the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a further 10 days to compile their brief of evidence, saying the large amount of information included 60 witness statements and more than nine hours of intercepted communications.
A supporting affidavit, released to The Age, revealed investigators had gathered an enormous volume of forensic material as part of Operation Fruithof that resulted in search warrants being executed on 12 premises and vehicles allegedly connected to Mr Duong on October 16, 2020.
Seven mobile phones, three SIM cards and an array of computers and tablets were seized at these locations.
Investigators said 90 per cent of the material seized was in a foreign language with three translators now working on the matter.
One iPhone seized had more than 100,000 images and 230,000 WeChat messages.
Other material still to be analysed included material gathered from listening devices placed in Mr Duong’s factory.