Investigative reporter attacked

New York, October 25, 2002—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) condemns the recent attack on journalist Hedley Thomas and his family at their home in Brisbane, on the east coast of Australia. Thomas is a reporter with the Courier-Mail, a national daily.

At about 10:30 p.m. on October 23, an unidentified gunman fired four shots at Thomas’ home, according to Australian media reports. No one was injured, although one bullet missed Thomas’ wife, Ruth Mathewson, by only inches. The couple’s two children, aged 18 months and 3 years, were sleeping at the time of the attack.

Police have created a task force to investigate the attack but have not yet determined a motive or suspects.

Thomas is an award-winning investigative journalist whose reports have uncovered wrongdoing in the legal and real estate industries. Most recently, he wrote a series of articles about corruption among lawyers. Thomas received a death threat by telephone last year, according to a report in the Courier-Mail. He and his family are currently in a safe house under police protection.