Australia/Timor Leste: Former ACT Attorney-General facing trial over national security charges

August 5, 2019

Former ACT Attorney-General, deputy chief minister and barrister Bernard Collaery will face the ACT courts this week, where he will be charged with conspiracy for his role in advising an Australian secret agent and for speaking to the media about the matter.

“Essentially, I will be in my own dock,” he told Region Media. 

Mr Collaery is the lawyer for Witness K, who blew the whistle in 2012 over Australian intelligence services bugging the Timor-Leste cabinet room during 2004 discussions over the Timor gas treaty. He is believed to have been part of a team of ASIS operatives who carried out the operation. In 2013, ASIO raided Witness K and Mr Collaery’s chambers, seizing the client brief.

Although nobody has seen Witness K’s statement, it’s believed to relate to the agent’s concerns that Australia acted unethically during good faith negotiations with East Timor, and his concerns over the subsequent appointment of former foreign minister Alexander Downer and former Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dr Ashton Calvert, to roles with Woodside Petroleum, a joint venture partner in the Sunrise natural gas field development.

Former ACT Attorney-General facing trial over national security charges

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-06/witness-k-to-plead-guilty-lawyer-bernard-collaery-face-trial/11387046

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6312557/witness-k-pleads-guilty-as-collaery-committed-to-stand-trial/

https://www.lawyersalliance.com.au/news/collaery-trial-process-is-not-just-or-fair

https://www.miragenews.com/collaery-trial-process-is-not-just-or-fair/

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/witness-ks-endless-trial/11377104

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/06/witness-k-to-plead-guilty-in-timor-leste-spying-case-but-lawyer-to-fight-charges

https://www.canberrahumanists.org.au/events/2019/8/6/protest-in-support-of-witness-k-and-bernard-collaery

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/2156338/east-timor-activists-shocked-australias-prosecution-dili

https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/australasia/article/3021648/former-australian-spy-plead-guilty-east-timor-bugging-case

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/it-s-dirty-political-linen-witness-k-to-plead-guilty-as-lawyer-bernard-collaery-committed-to-stand-trial-20190806-p52ecy.html

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/wig-chamber/26235-bernard-collaery-case-slammed-as-an-attack-on-the-legal-profession

Australian democracy has finally, painfully, reached its nadir

https://www.change.org/p/pm-morrison-drop-the-charges-against-bernard-collaery-and-witness-k (SIGN THE PETITION!)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Collaery

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