Former Indigenous Land Council deputy chairman charged over leaking

A former deputy chairman of the Indigenous Land Corporation has been charged with leaking boardroom-sensitive information during a brawl over leadership appointments which sparked opposition claims in Parliament that Labor was running the ILC as a ''dysfunctional fiefdom''.

Sam Jeffries, who helped drive the ILC's $320 million purchase of the Ayers Rock Resort in 2010, is facing a charge of ''disclosing information to an unauthorised person'' under section 71 of the Crimes Act. It is exceedingly rare for a director of a Commonwealth authority to face criminal charges over leaking. The matter was mentioned in Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday and has been adjourned until July 11.

It is understood that early last year the new board of the ILC, led by Labor appointee Dawn Casey, called in the AFP after allegations arose that a director had forwarded on correspondence between board members to an email address associated with the private company of sacked former ILC chief executive David Galvin, Turbarao Investments Pty Ltd.

The message was forwarded shortly after then acting chief executive Bruce Gemmell had been reappointed for six months.

The matter became a subject of debate in the Senate when Nigel Scullion - then Coalition spokesman for indigenous affairs and now the minister - blasted the treatment of Mr Galvin and the re-appointment of Mr Gemmell.

''A highly regarded CEO [Mr Galvin], in the words of the chair, was sacked with the agreement of the minister [Jenny Macklin], according to Ms Casey,'' he said. ''The ever-present Mr Gemmell reappears as acting CEO of the ILC.''

A spokesman for Senator Scullion said he would not comment on a matter that was before the courts.

This story Former Indigenous Land Council deputy chairman charged over leaking first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.