Tag Archives: Australia

Poland: Scholars at Risk concerned about prosecuted law professor Wojciech Sadurski

July 18, 2019

#Poland: SAR is concerned about pending criminal and civil lawsuits against legal scholar Wojciech Sadurski that appear to be in retaliation for comments he made about Poland’s ruling party and a public broadcaster. Read SAR’s report: http://ow.ly/gHYG50v5kfI

(Scholars at Risk Facebook, 18/07/19)

https://verfassungsblog.de/open-letter-in-support-of-professor-wojciech-sadurski/ (POLSKIE)

https://pikio.pl/donald-tusk-1307192-prezydent/ (POLSKIE)

https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/tylko-w-onecie/wojciech-sadurski-populizm-jest-reakcja-na-niedostatki-demokracji-liberalnej/n7hc6f1 (POLSKIE)

https://telewizjarepublika.pl/prof-sadurski-punktuje-rzad-pewny-wygranej-pis-u-wskazuje-pozaluja-dnia-w-ktorym-wygrali,82180.html (POLSKIE)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKIE)

Australia/Timor Leste: PM leaves door open to dropping spy case

July 5, 2019

The government has been urged to drop its prosecution of Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery.

The former president of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao, has urged the federal government to abandon its prosecution against a former spy known as Witness K and Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery.

 

“These are matters that obviously get considered within the government and with the attorney-general,” Mr Morrison told ABC radio on Friday.

 

“Based on that advice, we’ll continue to consider all those matters very cautiously.”

 

The pair are charged with exposing an Australian spying operation against East Timor.

 

Mr Gusmao, who is now a senior minister, has described the charges as an injustice.

https://www.northweststar.com.au/story/6258557/pm-leaves-door-open-to-dropping-spy-case/?cs=9397

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/xanana-gusmao-urges-australian-government-to-drop-charges/11280914

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jun/05/witness-k-lawyer-say-raids-show-australia-is-becoming-oppressive-democracy

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/06/whistleblower-protections-a-sham-says-lawyer-whose-leaks-led-to-abc-raids?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

ABC missing in action on Witness K and Bernard Collaery persecution

https://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article/witness-k-and-foreign-interference-hypocrisy

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

https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/portuguese/en/audiotrack/xanana-neste-momento-relacao-e-de-muito-mais-confianca-com-indonesia-do-que-com-australia (PORTUGUES)

https://setemargens.com/timor-leste-foi-traido-pela-australia-acusa-xanana/ (PORTUGUES)

http://noticias.sapo.tl/portugues/info/artigo/1532222.html (PORTUGUES)

Australia/Afghanistan: Ex-military lawyer faces Supreme Court

June 13, 2019

The ACT Supreme Court has adjourned the case of a former military lawyer who allegedly leaked documents about the Afghanistan war to journalists.

David McBride at his home in Canberra this week.

The government has delayed a case against a former Australian military lawyer, charged over the leaking of sensitive documents to ABC journalists, while it works out how to deal with the secret information in court.

David William McBride, 55, was committed to stand trial in May on a charge of theft of commonwealth property, three counts of breaching the Defence Act, and the unauthorised disclosure of information.

The leaks were to journalists Dan Oakes, Andrew Clark and Chris Masters, who produced the 2017 investigative report The Afghan Files.

The story examined incidents between 2009 and 2013 when special forces allegedly shot dead insurgents and unarmed civilians, including children.

At a directions hearing in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday, lawyers for the Commonwealth and Crown asked for an adjournment so they could work out how the sensitive information involved would be dealt with in court.

The case was adjourned for a fortnight, until June 27.

https://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/exmilitary-lawyer-faces-supreme-court/news-story/7428ce0ea17c42c3792a217d263a0d63

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/afghan-files-whistleblower-david-mcbride-facing-act-supreme-court-today

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jun/12/former-australian-army-lawyer-in-court-over-leak-t/

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/what-i-ve-done-makes-sense-to-me-the-complicated-colourful-life-of-david-mcbride-20190621-p5204h.html

https://www.ksl.com/article/46572748/former-australian-army-lawyer-in-court-over-leak-to-media

https://www.economist.com/asia/2019/06/15/australias-surprising-disregard-for-free-speech

ABC missing in action on Witness K and Bernard Collaery persecution

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jun/06/whistleblower-protections-a-sham-says-lawyer-whose-leaks-led-to-abc-raids

https://www.kiro7.com/news/whistleblower-returns-to-australian-court-over-afghan-leak/961906899

https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/national/whistleblower-david-mcbride-speaks-after-court-appearance-in-canberra/video/d4e1050b7784083177feb639c69e3a52

Poland: Wojciech Sadurski: I criticized Poland’s government. Now it’s trying to ruin me.

May 22, 2019

Prof. Wojciech Sadurski

For many years now, I’ve asked the students in my course on the law of freedom of speech to read Floyd Abrams – a doyen of the First Amendment law in the United States, who was recently described by David McCraw as “the lawyer who has made the single greatest contribution to press freedom in our lifetimes.” Now I see that Abrams is heading the list of some 700 scholars from all over the world denouncing a flagrant violation of that same freedom by an ostensibly democratic government. The case in question is mine.

Over the past six months, the Polish government’s propaganda machine has repeatedly denounced me as an enemy and traitor. But it hasn’t left it at that. Various authorities and institutions have also sued and prosecuted me. Some of the cases have since been dropped, though mostly on formal grounds. But three remain pending against me and will go to court.

The ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) is suing me for civil defamation. State-run TV is also suing me for civil defamation as well as indicting me for criminal defamation. If I lose these cases, I could face huge civil and criminal fines and hefty legal costs. Court decisions could also potentially force me to take out expensive advertisements containing apologies. All of this vastly exceeds my means. I could also be compelled by the court to abstain from commenting publicly and critically about the ruling party. And a guilty verdict in the TVP criminal case theoretically carries a sentence of up to one year in jail, though that is unlikely in practice.

I have, in short, become the target of autocrats who have weaponized the law against their opponents.

Wojciech Sadurski: I criticized Poland’s government. Now it’s trying to ruin me.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/05/21/i-criticized-polands-government-now-its-trying-ruin-me/

https://www.euronews.com/2019/05/13/critic-of-poland-s-ruling-party-pis-slams-political-motivated-libel-cases

https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/opinion/strengthening-eu-rule-of-law-protection-start-with-freedom-of-expression/

Wojciech Sadurski

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5af3f84a4eddec846552ea29/t/5cde17f0913a8d000173d86c/1558058993494/IACL+statement+Sadurski+EF.pdf

https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/kraj/list-rektora-uniwersytetu-w-sydney-w-obronie-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego/ltypqk6 (POLSKIE)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/447610-uniwersytet-z-sydney-broni-sadurskiego (POLSKIE)

https://dorzeczy.pl/kraj/103352/Sadurski-o-Konfederacji-Pelni-dla-PiS-role-scieku.html (POLSKIE)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKIE)

Poland/Australia: Open Letter in Support of Professor Wojciech Sadurski

May 6, 2019

Profesor Wojciech Sadurski

Two months ago Armin von Bogdandy and Luke Dimitrios Spieker highlighted the plight of our colleague Wojciech Sadurski, a distinguished professor of law at the Universities of Sydney and Warsaw, and formerly at the European University Institute in Florence.  Professor Sadurski finds himself facing an array of charges and lawsuits in Poland for his outspoken criticism of the governing party, PiS.  As von Bogdandy and Spieker pointed out, such attempts to silence critics are not solely a matter of Polish law but also of European Union law and European human rights law, particularly in the context of the ongoing Article 7 TEU procedure against Poland. But matters have continued to worsen since that time for Sadurski, who has been targeted by no less than three sets of legal proceedings aimed at silencing him and punishing him for speaking out.  We write to draw attention to the legal harassment of Professor Sadurski by the Polish government and its allies, to the right of academics across the European Union to freely speak out and to criticize political leaders, and to publicly express our support for Wojciech Sadurksi.

The background is this: On 10 November 2018 Wojciech Sadurski called upon Polish citizens to boycott a so-called “Independence March” to be held in Warsaw. He tweeted: “If anyone still had any doubts, after the maneuver of the past two days this much should be clear: no honest person should go in a parade of defenders of the White race, who have hidden for a moment their “falangas” [a neo-Nazi symbol] and swastikas, in collusion with an organized criminal group PiS”.  On 13 January 2019, shortly after the murder of Gdańsk Mayor Mr Paweł Adamowicz, Sadurski tweeted that a politician was killed after he had been hounded by government media, and stated that no democrat and opposition politician should enter the premises of TVP, a public television station, which he described as a Goebbelsian media company.

These two tweets led to three currently pending cases.

Open Letter in Support of Professor Wojciech Sadurski

http://wyborcza.pl/7,95891,24757365,list-otwarty-naukowcow-popierajacy-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego.html?disableRedirects=true (POLSKI)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/444364-sadurski-chce-przy-pomocy-ustawy-zrobic-czystki-w-tvp (POLSKI)

https://wpolityce.pl/polityka/444011-kaczynski-i-faszyzm-szokujace-slowa-pupila-kasty (POLSKI)

http://wyborcza.pl/7,95891,24757365,list-otwarty-naukowcow-popierajacy-prof-wojciecha-sadurskiego.html?disableRedirects=true (POLSKI)

https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojciech_Sadurski (POLSKI)

 

Australia/Timor Leste: How the Witness K/Collaery case is being delayed into oblivion

March 25, 2019

This is Australian politics’ biggest scandal, and the most powerful people in the country are ensuring you know as little about it as possible.

Bernard Collaery Witness K trial

There’s been minimal coverage (outside reports in the Canberra Times) of the government’s campaign of harassment and intimidation of Witness K and Bernard Collaery this year. And that’s exactly the way the government likes it.

It appears that Attorney-General Christian Porter is doing everything possible to slow the prosecution of K and Collaery down. With a slower prosecution there’s a greater chance the media and public will lose interest, and a larger toll for Collaery too; while he’s being prosecuted in the same courts he practiced law, it’s impossible for Collaery to fully resume his career.

https://www.crikey.com.au/2019/03/25/witness-k-collaery-trial-scandal/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/27/former-judge-delays-witness-k-case-abandonment-open-fair-justice

https://www.lawyersalliance.com.au/news/national-security-legislation-is-being-misused-to-prevent-a-fair-trial-in-collaery-case

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

Australia/Timor Leste: East Timor spy scandal: Jury could hear Collaery, Witness K case

February 28, 2019

Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery.

A jury could hear the controversial prosecution of a former spy known as “Witness K” and his lawyer who are both accused of revealing information about the Australian government spying on East Timor, a court has been told.

But before the question of any committal or possible jury trial could be decided, on Thursday a preliminary hearing in the case to be heard in secret was set down for August.

Tim Begbie, for the Commonwealth, said that since the matter was last in court Attorney-General Christian Porter had issued certificates under the National Security Information Act over the brief of evidence.

He said that, in broad terms, the certificates permitted the brief of evidence to be disclosed subject to certain restricted circumstances such as where it can be viewed.

He said there was also an unclassified version of the brief.

Because the Attorney-General has issued those certificates, the matter is headed for a closed court preliminary hearing in the ACT Magistrates Court to consider how sensitive material will be dealt with.

Mr Begbie passed to the court a set of proposed orders leading up to the hearing.

The preliminary hearing was set down for August 6, 7, and 8 this year.

But also raised in the course of Thursday’s mention in the ACT Magistrates Court was the possibility of a committal to the ACT’s higher court, which both lawyers for Witness K and Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery flagged.

Mr Collaery’s barrister, Christopher Ward SC, said they were considering the question of a jury trial but were not yet in a position to decide because they had not been able to sit with their client and review the evidence.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/east-timor-spy-scandal-jury-could-hear-collaery-witness-k-case-20190228-p510xz.html

https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-illegal-bugging-of-the-timor-leste-cabinet,12411

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