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Glencore demands AFR's Project Everest stories be taken down

Glencore PLC demanded that The Australian Financial Review take down articles detailing Project Everest, the group's 2014 plan to restructure its Australian holdings, which is under investigation by the Australian Taxation Office, the publication reported Oct. 10.

The AFR recently published articles that referred to the documents, part of the Paradise Papers, which include more than 7 million files of Bermuda law firm Appleby.

Earlier this week, AFR also reported that Glencore launched an action with the high court of Australia to compel the taxation office to return its copies of those extensive files.

King & Wood Mallesons partner Nick Pappas, acting for Glencore, complained that two documents posted on the AFR website in a story titled, "The documents Glencore doesn't want the taxman to see", were subject to legal privilege and should be taken down, according to a letter to Fairfax Media.

Pappas wrote that the AFR's publication, not just of these documents, but also of "associated articles and related observations infringes on Glencore's fundamental right to privilege."

AFR Editor-in-Chief Michael Stutchbury said, "the [AFR] has not infringed any legal rights of Glencore. The ATO already has the documents, the High Court case is to decide whether they can be used by the Tax Commissioner. Legal privilege does not prevent the media from reporting on the documents."

"The suggestion that High Court judges will be seriously prejudiced by a newspaper report is fanciful," Stutchbury added.