Tag Archives: Timor Leste

Australia: ‘Win for transparency’: ACT court rules in favour of Bernard Collaery’s challenge to secrecy order

06/10/21

Lawyer Bernard Collaery is being prosecuted for allegedly helping his then client, Witness K, reveal aspects of an alleged secret bugging operation against East Timor.

Sensitive details surrounding Australia’s alleged bugging operation of East Timor will be heard in public after the ACT Court of Appeal ruled that requiring large parts of the case against Bernard Collaery to be heard behind closed doors created a real risk of damaging public confidence in the legal system.

The unanimous judgment has been hailed as a “win for transparency” because it overturns a previous ruling made under national security laws which would have required large parts of the hearings into his alleged efforts to expose a secret Australian operation to bug East Timor’s government to be held behind closed doors.

Mr Collaery has always accepted that some sensitive information should not be publicly disclosed but wanted the disclosure of six specific matters during the trial.

The former lawyer for an ex-spy known as Witness K challenged an order made by the ACT Supreme Court last year to accept former attorney-general Christian Porter’s application to invoke the National Security Information Act, which governs how courts should handle sensitive information. The act requires the court to give “greatest weight” to the Attorney-General’s views about the national security implications of a case, which has resulted in large portions of the hearings being held in secret.

The ACT Supreme Court had ruled the public disclosure of certain information would have posed a real risk of undermining national security.

In their judgment handed down on Wednesday, the three judges of the ACT Court of Appeal accepted that the disclosure would involve a “risk” to national security but said they doubted it would be a “significant risk”.

“On the other hand, there was a very real risk of damage to public confidence in the administration of justice if the evidence could not be publicly disclosed,” the judgment summary said.

“The Court emphasises that the open hearing of criminal trials was important because it deterred political prosecutions, allowed the public to scrutinise the actions of prosecutors, and permitted the public to properly assess the conduct of the accused person.”

[…]

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/win-for-transparency-act-court-rules-in-favour-of-bernard-collaery-s-challenge-to-secrecy-order-20211006-p58xmh.html

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/06/witness-ks-lawyer-wins-transparency-ruling-as-court-cites-need-to-deter-political-prosecutions

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7458571/collaery-wins-appeal-against-trial-secrecy-as-court-cites-risk-of-damage/

https://www.perthnow.com.au/politics/law-and-order/collaery-wins-appeal-against-trial-secrecy-c-4162443

https://eminetra.com.au/win-for-bernard-collaery-derails-government-attempt-to-cover-up-crimes/245846/

https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-bernard-collaery (PLEASE CONTRIBUTE!)

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/32210-ugly-shameful-secret-rex-patrick-commences-action-to-reveal-confidential-documents-in-bernard-collaery-prosecution

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/16/rex-patrick-launches-bid-to-make-government-reveal-long-secret-cabinet-documents-on-timor-leste

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/aug/11/john-howard-likely-to-give-evidence-at-bernard-collaery-trial-rex-patrick-tells-parliament

https://www.9news.com.au/national/witness-k-labor-pledges-inquiry-into-timorleste-bugging-operation/4bcbcbc2-bb13-4793-b51d-376e04b61658

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/labor-announces-inquiry-into-east-timor-bugging-operation-if-elected-20210811-p58hz6.html

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7363066/new-call-to-review-collaery-prosecution/

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/32053-bernard-collaery-prosecution-breaching-rule-of-law-aba-says

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

Timor Leste/USA: ‘You know we are going to kill you’: Ex-priest’s chilling threat to lawyer

14/02/21

Richard Daschbach has support in high places in East Timor.

A defrocked Catholic priest accused of systematic child abuse in East Timor has been reported to police for allegedly threatening to kill the human rights lawyer representing the victims.

The claim against American-born Richard Daschbach was made in a statement released on Tuesday night by law firm JUS Juridico Social Consultoria.

“At around 11.15am [on Tuesday] inside the Oecusse District Court, the accused of the case of 14 counts of sexual abuse against children, one count of child pornography and domestic violence, ex-priest Mr Richard Daschbach threatened to kill Ms Barbara Oliveira, partner of JU,S Juridico Social,” the firm said in the statement.

“This threat was made inside the court building, directly witnessed by one member of the national police. While Ms Oliveira was sitting and working in the waiting area of the court waiting for the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Daschbach left the defendant waiting room to go to the toilet.

“Upon his return, Mr Daschbach walked across the open area and stood right in front of her while she remained sitting, at a distance of approximately 1.5m to 2m, and clearly uttered in English, ‘Barbara, you know we are going to kill you’. After that, he went back to the defendant room.”

The incident was reported to police and because Oliveira is a Brazilian and Portuguese national, their embassies in Dili have also been informed about the alleged death threat, the statement said.

Miguel Faria, one of the lawyers defending the sacked priest, told Portuguese news agency Lusa his team “were not aware of the situation”.

Daschbach, 84, is facing charges of child pornography, domestic violence and 14 counts of alleged abuse of girls under 14 at a shelter he operated in the country between 1991 and 2018.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age last month revealed a letter sent in 2018 by Daschbach to the Rome headquarters of the Society of the Divine Word, the church’s largest missionary order, in which he agreed to comply with any measures it imposed, saying “the victims could be anyone from about 2012 back to 1991”. The church expelled him soon afterwards.

His high-profile criminal trial in mostly Catholic East Timor has been held before three judges in the remote territory of Oecusse.

[…]

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/you-know-we-are-going-to-kill-you-ex-priest-s-chilling-threat-to-lawyer-20210714-p589hv.html

https://www.jus.tl/

https://www.rtp.pt/noticias/mundo/organizacao-que-defende-vitimas-de-abuso-diz-ter-sido-alvo-de-ameacas-em-timor-leste_n1335072 (PORTUGUES)

https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2021/06/10/un-ex-pretre-americain-en-proces-au-timor-pour-abus-sexuels-sur-des-enfants (FRANCAIS)

Australia/Timor Leste: Bernard Collaery’s appeal hearing to challenge secret trial closed to the public

17/05/21

Bernard Collaery is being prosecuted for allegedly helping his client reveal aspects of the secret bugging operation against East Timor.

A two-day court hearing into an appeal brought by Witness K’s former lawyer Bernard Collaery challenging a secrecy order is being held behind closed doors after his lawyer didn’t challenge holding the appeal in secret.

The barrister and former ACT attorney-general is facing the prospect of jail for allegedly helping his client, the ex-spy known as Witness K, reveal information about Australia’s bugging operation of East Timor’s government during commercial negotiations to carve up the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.

Mr Collaery is challenging a ruling to hold his trial largely in secret under national security laws.

The hearing in the ACT Court of Appeal was open to the public for about three minutes on Monday morning. ACT Chief Justice Helen Murrell noted there was an application by Mr Collaery’s legal team to lead further evidence and then asked if there was any challenge to the hearing being held in secret.

Barrister Bret Walker, acting for Mr Collaery, conceded it was regrettable the court had to be closed but he was not challenging it, as it was required by the National Security Information Act.

“We do regret the appearance of that, but we can’t see any other way around it,” Mr Walker said.

The decision means most or all of the two-day hearing will be held in secret. A ruling on Mr Collaery’s challenge likely won’t be handed down for months. If it doesn’t go his way, Mr Collaery could then appeal to the High Court, which would further delay his trial.

Mr Collaery is challenging an order made by the ACT Supreme Court last year to accept former attorney-general Christian Porter’s application to invoke the NSI Act, which governs how courts should handle sensitive information. The NSI Act requires the court to give “greatest weight” to the Attorney-General’s views about the national security implications of a case, which has resulted in large portions of the hearings being held in secret.

Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer Kieran Pender said the secrecy surrounding the prosecution of Mr Collaery was “wrong and undemocratic”.

“We should be protecting whistleblowers, not punishing them. Shrouding this case in secrecy only exacerbates the injustice being done,” he said.

[…]

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bernard-collaery-s-appeal-hearing-to-challenge-secret-trial-closed-to-the-public-20210517-p57sju.html

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7254301/there-is-no-place-for-secret-trials-in-australia/

https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2021/5/17/collaery-charges-must-be-dropped-and-undemocratic-secrecy-orders-must-end

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7251495/labor-mps-unite-in-joint-support-of-collaery/

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7255457/bernard-collaery-appeals-secrecy-orders/

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-16/the-secret-trial-of-witness-k-and-bernard-collaery/12355348

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/17/secrecy-challenge-by-witness-k-lawyer-bernard-collaery-will-itself-be-held-in-secret

https://intisari.grid.id/read/032698538/seret-nama-mantan-jaksa-agung-kasus-penyadapan-pemerintah-timor-leste-oleh-australia-demi-keruk-tambang-minyak-disebut-mengejek-keadilan-ternyata-ini-pemicunya (INDONESIAN)

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

May be an image of one or more people, people standing and outdoors
Some of the terrific supporters of justice for Bernard Collaery and Witness K at today’s rally outside the ACT Supreme Court. Telling the truth and exposing government wrongdoing should not be a crime!

Drop the Whistleblower Prosecutions Facebook 17/05/21

May be an image of 1 person and text that says "LAW COURTS OF THE RALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY Indonesia A Drop the Prosecutions EastTimor SECRET TRIALS HIDE Darwin GOVERNMENT CRIMES Bernard Collaery Thanks G.t Tobin awyers Witness"

Australia/Timor Leste: ‘Entirely undemocratic’: Lawyer Bernard Collaery to challenge secrecy orders

14/05/21

Lawyer Bernard Collaery and Witness K allegedly revealed Australia bugged East Timor’s cabinet during tense oil and gas negotiations.

Lawyers acting for Bernard Collaery will next week challenge a court order requiring large parts of his trial to be held in secret as the long-running case continues into his alleged efforts to expose a secret Australian operation to bug East Timor’s government.

The ACT Court of Appeal will hold a two-day hearing on Monday and Tuesday into an order made under national security laws to hold the trial largely behind closed doors.

Mr Collaery, the former lawyer for an ex-spy known as Witness K, is challenging an order made by the ACT Supreme Court last year to accept former attorney-general Christian Porter’s application to invoke the National Security Information Act, which governs how courts should handle sensitive information. The NSI Act requires the court to give “greatest weight” to the Attorney-General’s views about the national security implications of a case, which has resulted in large portions of the hearings being held in secret.

Mr Collaery, a barrister and former ACT attorney-general, is facing the prospect of jail for allegedly helping his client reveal information about Australia’s bugging operation of East Timor’s government during commercial negotiations to carve up the oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.

Witness K, a former intelligence officer for the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, has indicated he will plead guilty to breaching secrecy laws by revealing Australia’s spying on East Timor, but Mr Collaery is continuing to fight the charges against him. The Witness K case is being held up by disagreements over whether he can access his affidavit that was used by East Timor in international proceedings in the Hague, which his lawyers argue need to be before the court for his sentencing.

Mr Collaery is charged with offences relating to the alleged disclosure of information to both the East Timor government and the Australian media.

After East Timor commenced legal proceedings in the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration, the two nations signed a revised energy treaty in 2018 dividing the Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields.

Human Rights Law Centre senior lawyer Kieran Pender said there was no public interest in prosecuting Mr Collaery and Witness K.

[…]

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/entirely-undemocratic-bernard-collaery-to-challenge-secrecy-orders-20210514-p57rxi.html

https://sydneynewstoday.com/bernard-collery-disagrees-with-secret-orders/184207/

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/may/04/secret-australian-trial-unprecedented-and-must-never-happen-again-watchdog-told

https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2021/04/blowing-whistle-flawed-laws

https://www.armidaleexpress.com.au/story/7193866/cash-should-review-collaery-prosecution/

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-02/investigation-restarted-witness-j-secret-trial/13206154

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7119471/govt-moves-in-collaery-case-extraordinary-disturbing-judge/

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2021/feb/10/from-behrouz-boochani-to-bernard-collaery-photographer-hoda-afshar-turns-her-lens-on-whistleblowers

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/feb/09/judge-rules-australian-governments-attempt-to-obstruct-bernard-collaerys-use-of-barrister-unfair

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

Australia/Timor Leste: Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery wins international free speech prize

02/12/20

Lawyer Bernard Collaery addresses the media outside the supreme court in Canberra, 6 August 2019

The Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery has won a prestigious British free speech prize for his efforts exposing a secret Australian operation to bug Timor-Leste’s fledgling government during sensitive oil and gas negotiations.

Collaery is still being pursued by the Australian government through the criminal courts and, if convicted, the barrister and former ACT attorney general faces jail for allegedly sharing protected intelligence information.

The charge stems from an episode during which Collaery, who frequently acted for intelligence officers, represented an Australian spy known as Witness K, who had grown increasingly concerned about a 2004 mission to bug the government offices of Timor-Leste during commercial negotiations with Australia, an ally, to carve up the resource-rich Timor Sea.

The actions of Witness K and Collaery helped Timor-Leste, one of the world’s poorest nations, take a case to the international courts and, eventually, renegotiate a fairer deal.

Now, Collaery has been recognised with the International Blueprint for Free Speech Whistleblowing prize, which recognises the bravery and integrity of whistleblowers who have made a positive impact in the public interest. Previous winners of Blueprint for Free Speech awards include Chelsea Manning, who won while behind bars in 2016 at a maximum security prison in Kansas, and Nick Martin, the doctor who blew the whistle on Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru.

[…]

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/dec/03/witness-k-lawyer-bernard-collaery-wins-international-free-speech-whistleblower-prize

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7039056/bernard-collaery-awarded-international-whistleblowing-prize/

https://www.goulburnpost.com.au/story/7039551/collaery-wins-british-free-speech-prize/

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7026156/who-is-being-helped-by-putting-bernard-collaery-on-trial/

Image may contain: 2 people, text that says "The AOFES END #BREAKING Bernard Collaery has won the UK's Blueprint for Free Speech whistleblowing prize for his efforts exposing Australia's S spy operation in Timor-Leste"

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia urged to return $5bn to Timor-Leste and launch royal commission

October 18, 2019

Senate inquiry told Australia should also drop prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery

Australia’s negotiations with Timor-Leste should be the subject of a royal commission, and the government should return $5bn unfairly taken from the impoverished nation, a parliamentary inquiry has been told.

It should also drop the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, who revealed the now infamous bugging of Timorese delegates during negotiations on what became the CMATS treaty.

A Senate standing committee is examining decisions made by Australia in 2002, amid fractious maritime border negotiations with Timor-Leste, to withdraw from the jurisdictions of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Among the seven published submissions – none of which come from the Australian government – high profile Timorese organisations, allies and academics, supported the return, and called on Australia to be held accountable for its conduct.

Submissions also called for the government to drop the prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

Bracks and academic Clinton Fernandes noted it occurred around the time that Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists bombed Australia’s embassy in Jakarta.

“Surely our Asis resources should have been targeting the ‘war on terror’, and not facilitating Australia’s economic exploitation of a friendly, desperately poor and recently traumatised neighbour?” Bracks said.

Timor-Leste later sought to have the CMATS treaty terminated by the Hague after the bugging operation was revealed in 2013, but Witness K was prevented by Australia from attending the hearing to give evidence, and both he and Collaery have faced charges in extraordinarily controversial circumstances.

Bracks said he had “no doubt” that Xanana Gusmao would not have signed the treaty had he known Witness K and Collaery would be charged soon after.

Submissions to the inquiry have closed, although requests for an extension can be made. A report is expected on 28 November.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/19/australia-urged-to-return-5bn-to-timor-leste-and-launch-royal-commission

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6443314/amicus-bid-dismissed-in-spying-case/

https://7news.com.au/news/crime/court-stops-amicus-bid-in-bugging-case-c-508237

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/east-timor-prosecutions-public-forum-tickets-73219101303

https://sakibawan.com/human-rights/the-case-against-witness-k-and-bernard-collaery

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/21/australian-newspapers-black-out-front-pages-to-fight-back-against-secrecy-laws

https://www.smh.com.au/national/with-greater-powers-must-come-greater-accountability-20191018-p5323k.html

https://honisoit.com/2019/10/murdoch-university-sues-staff-whistleblower-over-four-corners-comments/

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/oct/21/australian-newspapers-black-out-front-pages-to-fight-back-against-secrecy-laws

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/22/witness-k-lawyer-warns-many-whistleblowers-have-nowhere-to-go

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/lawyers-risk-jail-in-press-freedom-fight/news-story/5337fc9356ed72d2af36f57797b05af2

https://7news.com.au/politics/afghan-whistleblower-case-back-in-court-c-521807

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

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

Indonesia/Australia: One of Indonesia’s most wanted people says she won’t be silenced, despite daily death threats

October 4, 2019

Veronica Koman in Sydney.

EXCLUSIVE: As violence in the Papuan provinces of Indonesia reaches its “darkest” point in 20 years, Indonesian human rights lawyer Veronica Koman says she will continue to speak out despite daily death threats.

A pro-Papuan lawyer who has been threatened with an Interpol Red Notice says she receives daily rape and death threats as the uprising in the Indonesian provinces ramp up.

Veronica Koman, a respected Indonesian human rights lawyer, now lives in Australia but continues to be pursued by the Indonesian government for allegedly disseminating evidence of security forces carrying out violence in Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua.

“I started to receive death threats two years ago and it’s almost like a daily experience now to receive death and rape threats online,” the 31-year-old told SBS News in an exclusive interview.

“They’re trying to kill the messenger. They cannot refute my data, all the footage they cannot refute that so they’re trying to destroy my credibility.”

 

Ms Koman became involved in the West Papuan struggle for independence in 2014 after five protesters were allegedly killed and another 17 injured by the Indonesian military in an event known as the Paniai killings.

“I thought at the time … ‘wow, why is there no outrage? School children are killed by security forces,'” she said.

“It has become my personal mission to expose what’s happening in West Papua.”

Last week, the provinces – which share a border with Papua New Guinea – suffered one of their bloodiest days in 20 years, with at least 33 people killed in the central town of Wamena.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/one-of-indonesia-s-most-wanted-people-says-she-won-t-be-silenced-despite-daily-death-threats

https://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/the-world/2019-10-03/this-is-bigger-than-us-:-activist-vows-to-keep/11572810

https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=298535

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/threats-against-and-judicial-harassment-human-rights-lawyer-veronica-koman

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4733800/veronica-koman-buka-suara-di-media-australia-kemlu-anggap-tak-pantas (INDONESIAN)

https://news.detik.com/berita/d-4734501/tampil-di-media-veronica-koman-diingatkan-soal-beasiswa (INDONESIAN)

https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20191004085943-20-436653/buka-suara-veronica-koman-sebut-terima-ancaman-pembunuhan (INDONESIAN)

https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Koman (INDONESIAN)

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/profile/veronica-koman (FRANCAIS)

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia’s quest for national security is undermining the courts and could lead to secretive trials

October 2, 2019

Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery. Picture: Jamila Toderas

This is part of a new series looking at the national security challenges facing Australia, how our leaders are responding to them through legislation and how these measures are impacting society. Read other stories in the series here.


In August, the intelligence officer known as Witness K indicated he would plead guilty to a conspiracy charge under section 39 of the Intelligence Services Act. That section prohibits the disclosure of information acquired or prepared by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS).

His lawyer, Bernard Collaery, will contest the same charge in the ACT Supreme Court.

Concerns have been raised about the use of the National Security Information Act (NSIA) in the Collaery trial. Anthony Whealy, a former judge who presided over several of Australia’s recent terrorism trials, said

This could be one of the most secretive trials in Australian history.

Both cases will be back in court this month. A hearing is also scheduled to consider how national security information will be dealt with in the Collaery trial.

There has been significant media discussion around the ASIS bugging that Witness K and Bernard Collaery exposed, but less about the NSIA.

So what is the National Security Information Act? Why was it introduced and how could it lead to secretive trials?

https://theconversation.com/australias-quest-for-national-security-is-undermining-the-courts-and-could-lead-to-secretive-trials-122638

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6418831/unattractive-orders-on-bugging-case/

https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oct/02/judge-handling-witness-k-case-risks-10-years-jail-if-he-breaches-secrecy-provisions

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6418503/judge-raises-concerns-about-ags-proposed-orders-in-east-timor-spying-case/?cs=14264

https://www.hrlc.org.au/news/2019/10/6/witness-k-case-in-court-tomorrow

https://7news.com.au/politics/timor-spying-case-returns-to-act-court-c-492142

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6443314/private-citizens-bid-to-be-heard-in-east-timor-bugging-case-shut-down/

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6443452/court-stops-amicus-bid-in-bugging-case/

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

Australia/Timor Leste: Australia: Drop the Collaery prosecution: an interview with Greg Barnes from Australian Lawyers Alliance

September 18, 2019

Sydney Criminal Lawyers

As Australian barrister Bernard Collaery is set to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court over charges of conspiring to communicate secret information, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has stepped forward and called for his prosecution to be dropped.

With the approval of attorney general Christian Porter, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) laid charges in May 2018 against Collaery and his client, Witness K, over revealing information regarding an ASIS operation that involved the bugging of the Timor Leste government.

Under the cover of an Australian aid refurbishment program, Witness K was charged with bugging the Timor Leste-East Timor cabinet office, so Australia could gain the upper hand in treaty negotiations over oil and gas fields in the Timor Gap.

An ever-broadening reach

As the recent Four Corners investigation explained, while Witness K has decided to plead guilty, Mr Collaery will fight the charges in a trial conducted in partial secrecy, under the provisions of the National Security Information Act 2004 (Cth) (the NSI Act).

Ostensibly designed to prevent prejudicing national security without interfering with the administration of justice, the NSI Act sits amongst a great pile of counterterrorism-national security legislation passed post-9/11, which has gradually whittled away at citizens’ rights.

The ALA has raised concerns about the scope of this legislation, which hasn’t been accompanied by any corresponding rights protections. And the alliance has long warned about the application of the NSI Act, as it leads to a lack of transparency and accountability in proceedings.

http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/845700/Terrorism+Homeland+Security+Defence/Drop+the+Collaery+Prosecution+An+Interview+With+Australian+Lawyers+Alliances+Greg+Barnes

https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/26403-ala-says-charges-against-act-a-g-must-be-dropped-as-tensions-build

http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/willheim-ernst-the-saga-of-bernard-collaery-and-witness-k-continues/

https://monitor.civicus.org/newsfeed/2019/09/13/authorities-restrict-peaceful-protest-timor-leste/

https://www.9news.com.au/national/east-timor-bugging-cases-return-to-court/f3adad0c-5cf4-4034-8e97-abd4de474898

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

https://www.plataformamedia.com/pt-pt/noticias/politica/interior/a-pedra-no-sapato-com-a-australia-11304796.html (PORTUGUES)

http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/19/9/17/n11528381.htm (CHINESE)

 

Australia/Timor Leste: Jose Ramos-Horta urges Australia to drop Witness K, whistleblower charges

August 30, 2019

Timor-Leste had moved on since the spying scandal and so should Australia by dropping charges against the whistleblowers who exposed it, says Jose Ramos Horta.

Lawyer Bernard Collaery addresses the media outside the Supreme Court in Canberra earlier this month.

Timor-Leste’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning former Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta says Australia “should get over it” and drop charges against two whistleblowers who revealed covert spying.

The criminal charges relate to whistleblowers lawyer Bernard Collaery and former spy Witness K revealing in 2013 that Australia had bugged government offices during negotiations over the sea boundary.

It was seen around the world as a rich nation stealing from an impoverished one.

Mr Ramos-Horta, who will on Friday attend Timor-Leste’s 20th-anniversary celebrations of its vote for independence, compared the Australian government’s pursuit of the pair to the novel Les Miserables and Inspector Javert’s obsessive pursuit of the convict Jean Valjean.

“I would never as leader of a country prosecute someone if we spied on some country and they came to us or the media and said I have just been asked to do something that is completely unethical and has nothing to do with the national interest,” he said.

“I would apologise to the nation if I were leader, apologise to the gentleman, the spy.”

Mr Ramos-Horta was shot at his home in Dili in an assassination attempt in 2008.

The scandal began in 2004 when the Australian Secret Intelligence Service planted covert listening devices in the Timor-Leste cabinet office to gain an upper hand in negotiations over the rich Greater Sunrise oil and gas fields.

 

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/jose-ramos-horta-urges-australia-to-drop-witness-k-whistleblower-charges

https://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/6357083/drop-timor-whistleblower-charge-horta/

https://www.miragenews.com/ala-calls-for-collaery-prosecution-to-be-dropped/

https://www.lawyersalliance.com.au/news/ala-calls-for-collaery-prosecution-to-be-dropped

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/29/witness-k-lawyer-alleges-extraordinary-unexplained-roadblock-funding-case

https://7news.com.au/politics/morrison-to-help-east-timor-celebrate-c-424992

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/08/australian-spy-denied-legal-aid-east-timor-bugging-case-190829061353911.html

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/witness-k-controversy-could-affect-timor-leste-gas-deal:-patrick/11463842

http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/840952/Human+Rights/Protect+our+eroding+rights+An+interview+with+Human+Rights+Law+Centres+campaign+director+Tom+Clarke

https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/pm-bats-aside-questions-over-prosecution-of-witness-k-and-lawyer-20190830-p52mjj.html

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/01/suppression-and-secrecy-how-australias-government-put-a-boot-on-journalisms-throat

https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/31/thousands-celebrate-east-timors-20th-anniversary-but-the-scars-remain

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

https://mapdow.com/des-milliers-celebrer-le-20e-anniversaire-du-timor-oriental-mais-les-cicatrices-restent/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.dailyviewsonline.com/cultura/Australiano-spia-di-carica-con-intercettazioni-perdita-negato-il-patrocinio-h20452.html (ITALIANO)