Police say foreign interference is ‘corrupting and deceptive’ and goes beyond usual diplomacy, as 65-year-old man charged.

The first person charged under Australia’s 2018 foreign interference law appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday [File: Mick Tsikas/Reuters]

Australian police said a man from Melbourne who appeared in court on Thursday was the first person to be charged with foreign interference under new legislation introduced in 2018.

A federal police statement did not give details about which foreign state the 65-year-old man was accused of acting for.

He appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court after the Australian Federal Police (AFP) executed search warrants in Melbourne on October 16, the statement said.

The charge, of preparing an act of foreign interference, followed an investigation

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