Daily Archives: 17/05/2022

Australia/Timor Leste: Government successfully blocks Bernard Collaery from obtaining documents on legality of spy mission

16/05/22

The federal government has successfully blocked Bernard Collaery from obtaining key documents about the lawfulness of the notorious spy operation against Timor-Leste, arguing that questions about its legality are irrelevant.

Collaery, a lawyer and one-time attorney general of the Australian Capital Territory, is awaiting trial on charges of conspiring to reveal classified information while working with his client, the former spy Witness K, in relation to a 2004 operation to bug the offices of Timor-Leste’s government during oil and gas negotiations.

To aid his defence, Collaery attempted to subpoena documents from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, the Office of National Intelligence, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which he hoped would show whether the mission was conducted unlawfully and outside of the proper functions of Asis.

He argued he would be entitled to be acquitted if a jury had any reasonable doubt about the lawfulness of Asis’s activities, making the documents relevant to his case.

But the commonwealth resisted the subpoenas, saying the material and questions about the legality of Asis’s mission – the existence of which it has steadfastly refused to confirm or deny – were irrelevant to the case.

On Monday, Justice David Mossop agreed with the federal government and set aside Collaery’s subpoenas.

He said the burden on the prosecution was only to prove that an offence had been committed by Collaery’s alleged disclosure of protected Asis information. That “does not extend to a requirement to prove compliance with every provision of the [Intelligence Services] Act relevant to the activity of Asis which gives rise to the information or matter disclosed”, Mossop said.

[…]

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/may/16/government-successfully-blocks-bernard-collaery-from-obtaining-documents-on-legality-of-spy-mission

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-17/act-supreme-court-refuses-bernard-collaery-request-documents/101072308

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/34262-plea-by-hrlc-to-remove-stain-on-our-democracy

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7713302/its-time-to-bring-the-farce-over-bernard-collaery-to-an-end/

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-04-13/high-court-judges-delay-decision-collaery-evidence/100988648

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jan/31/open-justice-v-secrecy-what-is-the-case-against-witness-k-lawyer-bernard-collaery-all-about

Libyan Crimes Watch decries detention of lawyer in Benghazi

15/05/22

Libyan Crimes Watch (LCW) has condemned the kidnapping of lawyer Adnan Al-Arfi in Benghazi.

Al-Arfi was abducted by a militia affiliated with Khalifa Haftar for filing corruption cases against the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Libya, Ali Al-Hibri, backed by Haftar.

LCW said Al-Arfi was subjected to wrongful detention three times between 2017 and 2022.

It considered his arrest an abuse of the immunities enjoyed by lawyers according to Article No. 27 of Law No. 3 of 2014.

The organization held the Government of National Unity and the Libyan Presidential Council responsible for his safety, and demanded his release unconditionally, the opening of an investigation into such violations, and to hold those responsible for his abduction accountable.

Meanwhile, the General Bar Association has said that Al -Arfi was arrested outside the law and vowed to take legal action against those behind his detention.

The General Bar Association “is in the process of taking legal measures against those behind his arrest and enforced disappearance and had submitted complaints to the competent authorities and the Attorney General, the bloc confirmed.

It disclosed that it has reached out to the lawyers in the Benghazi Syndicate and all the subsidiary unions to take the necessary measures regarding “this crime.”

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/news/lcw-decries-detention-lawyer-benghazi

https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/04/human-rights-dissenters-face-uphill-struggle-libya

https://www.libyaobserver.ly/inbrief/pro-haftar-kaniyat-militia-kidnaps-judge-khoms-court-ministry-justice-says

(ARABIC)

https://www.panapress.com/Des-avocats-protestent-a-Benghaz-a_630721932-lang1.html (FRANCAIS)

PBI-Colombia accompanies CCAJAR lawyers collective at Inter-American Court of Human Rights hearing

16/05/22

On May 16, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Last week PBI accompanied @Ccajar during the public hearing held in @CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] in the case Members of the “José Alvear Restrepo” Lawyers Corporation v. Colombia. See more information about the audience here.”

[…]

The hearing took place on May 12-13 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

On May 11, PBI-Colombia also tweeted:

“@CorteIDH [the Inter-American Court of Human Rights] calls #Colombia to judge surveillance and illegal intelligence against human rights defenders @Ccajar whom we have accompanied since 1995. We express our deep admiration and solidarity for their tireless work in defense of human rights and search for justice so that #NoSeRepita [there is no repetition].”

[…]

Last month, CCAJAR explained:

“For the first time, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) will try a case involving illegal surveillance and intelligence on human rights defenders.

This is the case brought by the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (Cajar), which has denounced being a victim of persecution practices for more than 30 years, in which its members have been the focus of illegal intelligence activities by different State agencies, stigmatizing speeches, threats, attacks, exiles, smear campaigns, psychological torture and harassment.”

On the first day of the hearing, CCAJAR tweeted:

“In the worst years of persecution we felt that the organization was going to end. Half of the lawyers of @Ccajar had to go into exile. We always appeared on lists of threats from paramilitary groups.”

[…]

https://www.escr-net.org/member/corporacion-colectivo-abogados-jose-alvear-restrepo-ccajar

https://www.omct.org/en/network-members/corporaci%C3%B3n-colectivo-de-abogados-jos%C3%A9-alvear-restrepo-cajar

https://www.dw.com/es/las-fuerzas-de-seguridad-de-colombia-atrapadas-en-la-guerra-fr%C3%ADa/a-61794328 (ESPANOL)

https://zonacero.com/generales/corteidh-escucho-colectivo-de-abogados-jose-alvear-por-caso-de-persecucion-en-colombia

https://www.abogacia.es/actualidad/noticias/la-fundacion-abogacia-muestra-su-apoyo-a-un-colectivo-de-abogados-de-colombia-objeto-de-escuchas-ilegales/

https://www.eltiempo.com/justicia/cortes/corte-idh-juzgara-a-colombia-por-persecucion-ilegal-al-colectivo-cajar-671408

https://www.corteidh.or.cr/index.cfm?lang=pt

https://www.colectivodeabogados.org/

(FRANCAIS)