July 2022

Vindictive and bad faith prosecutions?
David Lovejoy – The Echo – 22 July 2022
As Bernard Collaery’s friends and supporters celebrate the dropping of the prosecution against him, it is still relevant to ask, why were Witness K and his lawyer Collaery put on trial in the first place?

Collaery Prosecution Dropped, But Politicians Remain Unaccountable for Bugging Timor Cabinet
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 21 July 2022

G+T’s reflections on representing Bernard Collaery
Jerome Doraisamy – Lawyers Weekly – 20 July 2022
Following the dropping of charges against former ACT attorney-general Bernard Collaery, Lawyers Weekly spoke with BigLaw firm Gilbert + Tobin about its representation of Mr Collaery and why such work is so important.

Bernard Collaery’s divine intervener
Amy Fallon – The Saturday Paper –16 July 2022
When the decision to end his prosecution was announced, one of the first people that whistleblower Bernard Collaery called was a 76-year-old, plain-clothed, straight-talking nun living in a south-western Sydney convent.

La’o Hamutuk Press Release  12 July 2022
La’o Hamutuk Congratulates Australia for Ending the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Urges them to Continue to Respect Timor-Leste’s Sovereignty

‘Witness K and Bernard Collaery are heroes’: how Australia made two men pay for its dirty secrets
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 9 July 2022
Decision by new government to abandon prosecution prompts widespread relief from lawyers and supporters in Australia and Timor-Leste

With the persecution of Collaery ended, it’s time to hold the perpetrators to account
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 08 July 2022
Bernard Collaery’s legal ordeal has been ended by Mark Dreyfus, but those responsible for our actions in Timor-Leste must be pursued.

ACT Supreme Court formally ends prosecution of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News –8 July 2022
The prosecution of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery has now officially ended, with his legal team considering seeking costs for the case that has spanned four years.

Justice for Bernard Collaery must be the beginning of decisive action on whistleblowers
Kieran Pender – The Guardian – 8 July 2022
It was hard to watch the bureaucratic machine perpetrating injustice – Mark Dreyfus must now intervene in the other two cases.

Bernard Collaery’s leaking charges over East Timor operation dropped on Mark Dreyfus’ orders
Lisa Visentin – Sydney Morning Herald – July 7, 2022

Prosecution of whistleblower lawyer Bernard Collaery dropped after decision by attorney general
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 7 July 2022
Mark Dreyfus ordered the commonwealth DPP to discontinue case over alleged unlawful disclosure of classified information.

Australia’s Timor-Leste intervention has a dark history — one perpetrators want to hide
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 7 July 2022
Australia’s intervention in East Timor saw serious misconduct by soldiers and bureaucrats. Some paid a terrible price for the cover-ups and harassment that followed. 

Gilbert + Tobin Welcomes End to Collaery Proceedings
07 July 2022

Press conference on Bernard Collaery – Transcript

07 July 2022 The Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP


07 July 2022

Today the Attorney-General, the Hon. Mark Dreyfus QC MP, discontinued the prosecution of Mr Bernard Collaery under section 71 of the Judiciary Act 1903.

June 2022

Labor government urged to drop prosecutions against whistleblowers and ramp up protections
Nassim Khadem – ABC  News– 14 June 2022
The Labor government is being urged to drop the prosecution against public-servant-turned-whistleblower Richard Boyle, among others. 

Albanese government promises national corruption watchdog will have power to investigate pork-barrelling
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 8 June 2022
Attorney general Mark Dreyfus says ‘serious and systemic’ past corruption allegations would be part of new commission’s remit

Attorney-General says ‘levers’ available in Collaery case
Lisa Visentin – Sydney Morning Herald –  8 June 2022
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says there are “levers available” to the government on the handling of the Bernard Collaery case but remained tight-lipped about any steps the Commonwealth may take in the matter, as advocates renewed calls for Canberra lawyer’s prosecution to be abandoned.

Crossbenchers urge new attorney general to end prosecution of Bernard Collaery
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 3 June 2022
Greens and independents back calls for Mark Dreyfus to withdraw commonwealth consent to all charges in alleged Timor-Leste bugging case

Calls to end Collaery’s secret trial
Post – The Saturday Paper – 3 June 2022
Crossbenchers have called for new attorney-general Mark Dreyfus to end the prosecution of Bernard Collaery over his role in exposing Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste.

A voice for Timor and whistleblowers keeps up the good fight
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 02 June 2022
Rex Patrick is a fighter against injustice. Defeated for re-election on May 21, he will be a loss to the Australian parliament when he leaves the Senate on June 30. He is using those few remaining days to fight for the fair treatment of the Timorese people and the man who blew the whistle on Australian spying, writes Callum Foote.

More than halting the unjust Collaery trial awaits Mark Dreyfus
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 01 June 2022
The new attorney-general should halt the wretched prosecution — but the tumour of corruption Collaery and Witness K exposed must be excised.

May 2022

Collaery Trial Date Set: Federal Government Continues to Prosecute Whistleblowers
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 31 May 2022

Kill off the AAT: it’s stacked with Morrison’s Liberal mates and is no longer credible
Greg Barns – Michael West Media – 29 May 2022
Just before ousted Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election, his Attorney-General Michaelia Cash stacked the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with a host of Liberal Party mates. Political appointments are out of control and the AAT needs to be killed off, writes Greg Barns SC.

José Ramos-Horta accuses Alexander Downer of ‘distorting’ issues around 2004 Timor-Leste bugging
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 28 May 2022
Exclusive: President of south-east Asian nation says Australia used cover of ‘supposedly altruistic foreign aid program’ to spy on behalf of oil companies

Dreyfus to rethink trial of Bernard Collaery
Michael Pelly – Australian Financial Review – 26 May 2022

October trial date set for Bernard Collaery nearly four years after charges laid
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 26 May 2022
Bernard Collaery has been told he will face trial in October, four years after he was charged, despite his lawyers seeking more time to pursue an appeal that could be key to his defence.

Bernard Collaery’s trial date set for October, against his wishes, as dispute with federal government drags on
Elizabeth ByrneABC News  – 26 May 2022
Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery will face trial in the ACT Supreme Court in October, four years after he was first charged with conspiring to release classified information about an alleged spying operation in East Timor.

Albanese Could Bring an End to Coalition’s Political Prosecutions
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 25 May 2022

Mark Dreyfus flags Bernard Collaery case as priority if appointed attorney general
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 May 2022
Labor MP says he would ‘seek an early briefing’ on prosecution of Collaery after criticising commonwealth’s handling

Judge orders trial date be set as Bernard Collaery asks to call more evidence from former East Timor presidents
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 18 May 2022
Bernard Collaery wants to ask for further evidence from former East Timor presidents Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta.

Top-secret evidence will be allowed in Bernard Collaery’s court case, ACT Supreme Court judge rules
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 18 May 2022 (from March), corrected 5 May 2022 – see end note.
A court ruling this week found that top-secret evidence could be used by the Attorney- General against Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery.

Federal ICAC must investigate Timor-Leste spying scandal
Hannah ThomasIndependent Australia – 17 May 2022
Law reform and investigations into cases such as the Timor-Leste spy scandal are long overdue.

The legal playing field has tilted sharply against Bernard Collaery
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 17 May 2022
The latest ruling in the trial of the former ACT attorney-general effectively liberates Australia’s intelligence agencies from judicial oversight.

Government successfully blocks Bernard Collaery from obtaining documents on legality of spy mission
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –  16 May 2022
Judge says legality of intelligence operation irrelevant to charge of disclosure of classified information

Secret evidence to be allowed in Collaery case
Blake Foden – Canberra Times – 16 March 2022
The federal Attorney-General will be allowed to rely on secret evidence Bernard Collaery and his legal team cannot see as the whistleblower is prosecuted over the exposure of an Australian espionage operation in East Timor.

Sic ’em Rex: forget the election, one principled politician is fighting for tiny Timor instead
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 11 May 2022
Senator Patrick’s battle with the bureaucracy reveals Australia’s problem with transparency.

Dreyfus attacks Collaery prosecution: ‘an affront to the rule of law’
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 02.05.22
Mark Dreyfus, who will become attorney-general if Labor wins the election, has savaged the conduct of the trial of Bernard Collaery, and questioned the public interest in its continuation, describing it as  “a stark double standard that is inimical to the rule of law”.

Morrison government’s last secrecy hurrah Attorney-General orders tribunal hearing on East Timor documents to be held
Senator Rex Patrick – Mirage News – 1 May 2022
In what could be the last secrecy hurrah in the reign of Scott Morrison, the Federal Attorney- General Michaelia Cash has issued a so-called ‘public interest’ certificate in an effort to suppress parts of a Howard Government Cabinet submission concerning East Timor and the Timor Sea boundary negotiations.

April 2022

Shooting the messengers
Kieran Pender – Australia Book Review – April 2022 No.441
How the Collaery case stains our democracy

Mark Dreyfus on the responsibilities of Attorneys-General
It’s worth reading and viewing a speech by Mark Dreyfus to the Australian Bar Association on 30 April, outlining the the Government’s failure to protect the rule of law, and outlining alternatives. Here is the Vimeo link:  The written speech is here.

Bernard Collaery’s war against secret trials
Binoy Kampmark – Green Left Weekly – 24 April 2022
The Australian government’s labyrinthine callousness and indifference to justice in its treatment of lawyer Bernard Collaery must be slotted in alongside that of another noted Australian currently held in the maximum-security facility of Belmarsh, London.

Timor-Leste’s presidential election pushes Asia’s youngest democracy closer to China
Michael Sainsbury – Crikey – 20 April 2022
The fragile stability that has characterised politics in Timor-Leste — Asia’s newest democracy — for the past two years is set to be shattered after Tuesday’s presidential election, and red flags will be raised in Canberra

Our democracy is decaying from within
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 15 April 2022 (A repost from 16 September 2021)
“Democracy” has been narrowed down to a view that it is only about elections and not about well-functioning institutions. We need a summit of community leaders to help chart democratic renewal.

High Court judges delay considering whether to release secret evidence in Bernard Collaery conspiracy trial
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 13 April 2022 Elizabeth Byrne
The High Court has put off considering whether details of an alleged Australian spying operation in Timor-Leste should remain secret during a criminal trial.

High Court decision to hear Attorney-General’s application for special leave to appeal ACT judgment of Bernard Collaery adjourned
Toby Vue – Canberra Times­ – 13 April 2022
The federal Attorney-General’s bid for an appeal to redact more parts of a judgment that ruled for an open trial of Bernard Collaery has been adjourned after three High Court judges questioned the application with one describing the case as being “fragmentation of a criminal proceedings at its worst” on Wednesday.

Australia’s intelligence community sails through another major blunder
Bernard Keane and Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 12 April 2022
The deal between the Solomon Islands and China is a major failure by Australia’s intelligence community — and by a government that’s been dismissive of the region’s concerns.

Shooting the messengers
Kieran Pender – Australia Book Review – April 2022 No.441
How the Collaery case stains our democracy.


March 2022

Justice for whistleblower Bernard Collaery is as far away as ever
Greg Barns – Michael West Media ­– 18 March 2022
Top-secret evidence will be allowed in the prosecution of Bernard Collaery, the man who exposed Australian spying in East Timor, an ACT Supreme Court judge has ruled. Greg Barns examines the implications.

Government’s persecution of Bernard Collaery should stop
Letters to the Editor – Canberra Times – 18 March 2022
Letters by Jack Pappas, Michael hall, Ernst Willheim

Secret evidence to be allowed in Collaery case
Blake Foden – Canberra Times – 16 March 2022
The federal Attorney-General will be allowed to rely on secret evidence Bernard Collaery and his legal team cannot see as the whistleblower is prosecuted over the exposure of an Australian espionage operation in East Timor.

Top-secret evidence will be allowed in Bernard Collaery’s court case, ACT Supreme Court judge rules
Elizabeth Byrne  –  ABC News – 16 March 2022
Evidence so secret that Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery himself cannot know what it is will be permitted to be used by the Attorney-General in the case against him.

February 2022

Bernard Collaery, Witness K legal bill hits $4.2m as cabinet documents remain in ‘black hole of shameful secrets’
Sarah Basford Canales – The Canberra Times – 16 February 2022

Arguments over ‘court only evidence’ aired in Bernard Collaery case
Albert McKnight – The Riot Act – 11 February 2022
Legal parties in the case against whistleblower Bernard Collaery have argued over whether or not a judge should receive “court only evidence”, secret information that his defence team would not be allowed to see.

Alexander Downer called Timor-Leste an ‘open book’ for Australia in 2000, tribunal hears
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –  09 February 2022
Former foreign affairs department officer says Downer made comment in private conversation years before bugging scandal.

Collaery charges must be dropped and whistleblowing laws overhauled
Michelle Bennett – Human Rights Law Centre – 8 February 2022
The Human Rights Law Centre today called on the Morrison government to drop the unjust charges against whistleblower Bernard Collaery and urgently reform Australia’s whistleblower protection laws.

Cabinet documents reveal Australia pushed interests of oil and gas corporates before Timor-Leste bugging
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 02 February 2022
Newly released cabinet documents reveal Australia was preoccupied with the interests of major oil and gas corporations in the Timor Sea years before it bugged the Timor-Leste government during talks to carve up the crucial underwater resources.

January 2022

Open justice v secrecy: what is the case against Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery all about?
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 31 January 2022
Bernard Collaery’s case has taken many twists and turns in the almost four years since he was charged.

Collaery secrecy ‘unfounded’, says defence
Dominic Giannini – AAP – 31 January 2022
Defence lawyers for prosecuted whistleblower Bernard Collaery have told Australia’s highest court a push to keep a court judgment secret on national security grounds is unfounded.

Australia accused of ‘disgraceful’ bid to keep Timor- Leste bartering negotiations secret
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 18 January 2022
Senator Rex Patrick says release of decades-old cabinet papers won’t further damage Timor relationship after spying and prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery

December 2021

World won’t forget Australia’s duplicitous dealings with East Timor
Bernard Collaery – Pearls and Irritations – 30 December 2021
Canberra’s conduct towards the Timorese was so grave that Australia continues to be regarded, within international legal circles as a cheat.

In spying on East Timorese, Australia forgets its neighbour’s sacrifices
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 20 December 2021
Australian forgetfulness of the wartime friendship and suffering of the Timorese people was crowned in 2004 by a grubby act of government greed.

Change to Collaery secret evidence refused
Dominic Giannini – The Canberra Times – 7 December 2021 (AAP)
The Commonwealth’s bid to update secret evidence against Bernard Collaery has been rejected.

Bernard Collaery trial: Coalition tells high court release of judgment would risk national security
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 7 December 2021 21.03 AEDT
Collaery won ACT court of appeal case lifting previous secrecy orders and declaring importance of open justice

With truth on trial, the Attorney-General’s High Court bid for secrecy is dangerous
Kieran Pender – The Sydney Morning Herald – 7 December 2021

The contemptible prosecution of Bernard Collaery is an assault on the rule of law
Spencer Zifcak – Pearls and Irritations – 4 December 2021
The Coalition’s vindictive legal campaign reveals its contempt for democratic rights and shows how easily prosecution can slide into persecution.

Inside Bernard Collaery’s trial
Kieran Pender – The Saturday Paper – 4 December 2021
Secret evidence, secret hearings and secret judgements. Each step in the prosecution of Bernard Collaery comes with another layer of opacity. If it were not so serious, the accumulation of secrecy in this case would be comedic. Secrecy heaped upon secrecy for secrecy’s sake. A secrecy onion? But this case is no laughing matter. At stake are transparency and accountability.

Michaelia Cash in new effort to railroad Collaery with secret evidence
The attorney-general is seeking to introduce ‘new’, secret evidence against Bernard Collaery, continuing Christian Porter’s shameful efforts.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 03 December 2021

‘Absurd’: lawyers criticise government’s high court bid to keep Collaery decision secret
Commonwealth also seeking to put forward new secret evidence that Bernard Collaery’s lawyers say would cause ‘irreparable prejudice’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 03 December 2021

Ambition without judgment: in Porter and Hunt, a tale of two failures
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 02 December 2021
Liberal Party scions Christian Porter and Greg Hunt held dreams of the prime ministership. Both failed to achieve it. Both will be remembered for misjudgments — though on very different matters

November 2021

Whistleblower protections have never been more urgent
Kieran Pender, Bill Brown – Canberra Times – 26 November 2021

Australia shredded all decency in the persecution of Bernard Collaery
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 19 November 2021
Our spying against Timor-Leste and persecution of a whistleblower and his lawyer reads like a tawdry thriller that would embarrass James Bond.   Here’s a pdf.

With a federal election looming, is there new hope for leadership on integrity and transparency?
A. J. Brown – The Conversation –18 November 2021

Majority of Australians Want Stronger Whistleblower Protections
Media Release – The Australia Institute – November 15, 2021

Standover law
Editorial – The Saturday Paper – 13-19 November 2021

Bernard Collaery’s trial needs to remain open
Dechlan Brennan – Independent Australia – 12 November 2021, 11:00am | 11 comments |
Lawyers for Attorney-General Michaelia Cash have warned of national security issues if the trial of Bernard Collaery continues in public.

Federal whistleblower law changes outlined
Dominic Giannini – AAP – 11 November 2021
The federal government has outlined its proposed amendments to whistleblowing laws, saying the current framework is unclear and flawed.

Government’s secret evidence against Bernard Collaery could lead to ‘perpetual vortex’ of delay, judge warns
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 10 November 2021
Attorney general wants to introduce ‘court-only’ evidence against barrister in Timor-Leste spying case.

The Coalition is still hounding Bernard Collaery. Is this in the public interest?
Bernard Keane – Crikey – November 9, 2021
Three years on and the Morrison government continues to drag out its unconscionable prosecution of the Canberra lawyer.

Collaery secrecy ‘unusual’: chief justice
Dominic Giannini – AAP – 5 November 2021

Federal government seeks further secrecy in Bernard Collaery case
Albert McKnight – The Riot Act – November 2021

Bernard Collaery case: lawyers for attorney general call for redactions of judgment that lifted secrecy orders
Christopher Knause – The Guardian – 02 November 2021
Request prompts renewed criticism from human rights advocates, who say loss of open justices erodes public confidence.

October 2021

Prosecutor stands by Collaery court action
Dominic Giannini – Canberra Times – 26 October 2021
The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions has backed the continuing prosecution of Witness K’s former lawyer, Bernard Collaery.  (Also contains A-G’s comment that the power she has can only be used in exceptional circumstances and has never been used before.)

The trials of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Stephen Charles – Pearls and Irritations – 20 October 2021
Australia’s bugging of Timor-Leste’s Cabinet rooms and subsequent hounding of Bernard Collaery and a former intelligence officer was a display of mendacity, duplicity, fraud, criminal trespass and contempt of international law.

Witness K and Bernard Collaery: civil liberty and rule of law concerns
Pauline Wright – Centre for Public Integrity Webinar – posted by Rebecca Payne on October 14, 2021
This is a transcript of a presentation given by President Pauline Wright at a Centre for Public Integrity webinar.

Witnesses J, K – and L? Open Justice, the NSI Act and the Constitution
Kieran Pender – AusPubLaw – 12 October 2021

Collaery’s trial to be public, but it should be abandoned
Dechlan Brennan – Independent Australia – 11 October 2021

Prosecution of Bernard Collaery an ‘insult’ to Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão says
Former president urges Australia to drop case of former Witness K lawyer after court decision to overturn secrecy order

A win for transparency, but now Collaery prosecution must be dropped
Kieran Pender – Sydney Morning Herald – 7 October 2021
The sorry saga of the prosecution of Bernard Collaery, an eminent Canberra lawyer, has seen a number of unhappy chapters. His prosecution, for Collaery’s alleged role in exposing Australia’s espionage against friendly neighbours Timor-Leste, is profoundly unjust.

Secrecy on East Timor spy case undermines trust in the court system
Editorial – The Sydney Morning Herald – 7 October 2021

Bernard Collaery hails ‘victory for justice’ as court overturns bid to keep evidence hidden at trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 07 October 2021
Witness K lawyer says he is grateful to legal profession who supported him pro bono while government pursues million-dollar case

Court of Appeal rules in favour of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery’s bid for open trial
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 06 October 2021
Lawyer Bernard Collaery has won the latest round in his bid for an open trial as he fights charges alleging he revealed classified information.

Collaery wins appeal against trial secrecy
Georgie Moore – Canberra Times – 06 October 2021

Witness K’s lawyer wins transparency ruling as court cites need to deter ‘political prosecutions’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 06.10.21
ernard Collaery has secrecy ruling overturned ahead of trial over his alleged role in exposing Timor-Leste bugging scandal

Win for Collaery derails Porter’s attempt to cover up Timor-Leste bugging
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 6 October 2021
In a defeat for the federal government in its pursuit of Bernard Collaery, the attempt by former attorney-general Christian Porter to keep the trial hidden has been overturned by the ACT court of appeal.

August 2021

Australia seeking revenge on whistleblower
Bernard Lagan (“From Our Correspondent”) – The Times – 16 August 2021
Australia is exacting retribution after a shabby act of spying against a fledgling nation was
exposed by a whistleblower. 

Militia leader’s honour slammed as insult to East Timor and Australia

Chris Barrett and Karuni Rompies – Sydney Morning Herald – 16 August 2021

Rex Patrick launches bid to make government reveal long-secret cabinet documents on Timor-Leste
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 16 August 2021
Documents likely to reveal Australia’s strategy for bartering on Timor Sea maritime boundary prior to the bugging operation revealed by Witness K and Bernard Collaery. 

Labor announces inquiry into East Timor bugging operation if elected
Anthony Galloway – The Guardian – 11 August 2021
Labor has announced that it would conduct an inquiry into the intelligence operation to bug the East Timor government which led to the prosecution of a former spy and his lawyer. 

John Howard likely to give evidence at Bernard Collaery trial, Rex Patrick tells parliament
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 11 August 2021
Under parliamentary privilege, independent senator says Australia’s 2004 Timor-Leste spy mission was ‘neither legal nor initiated properly’.  

July 2021

Australian Bar Association calls on the Australian Government to reconsider the prosecution of Bernard Collaery
Australian Bar Association – Media Release – 28 July 2021

Bernard Collaery prosecution breaching rule of law, ABA says
Naomi Neilson –Lawyers Weekly – 28 July 2021

Mirroring a statement from the ACT Bar Association, the Australian Bar Association (ABA) has requested that Attorney-General Michaelia Cash withdraw the consent given by her predecessor Christian Porter and put an immediate end to the highly secret prosecution of Bernard Collaery before the public’s concern turns into mistrust in the court system.

Cost of prosecuting Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery balloons to $3.7m
Daniel Hurst and Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 July 2021
Federal government continues to pursue whistleblowing ex-spy’s lawyer as senators urge it to drop case.

Gareth Evans versus the Surveillance State: application of the Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 23 July, 2021
Extraordinary letter from Attorney-Generals’ Department and equally riveting reply from former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, who advises that if the government wants to protect national interests it would be better to discontinue the case against Bernard Collaery, and establish an ICAC.

Behind the campaign to silence Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Stephen Langford and Susan Connelly – Green Left Weekly – 14 July 2021

Timor-Leste, Witness K, Bernard Collaery, Howard and Downer
Bruce Haigh– Pearls and Irritations – 5 July 2021
This is a tale of greed, denial, delusion, racism, power, loyalty, ethics and courage. Dressed in black are Howard and Downer, in white are Witness K and Collaery. The tale takes place in the subterranean world of spies, spooks, spivs and secret trials.  F

Court documents shed new light on man behind moniker ‘Witness K’ and how he met lawyer Bernard Collaery
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC – 4 July 2021

Sailor, spy, whistleblower, grandfather: the life of Witness K revealed in court documents
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 4 July 2021
Newly released records point to a man who gave everything for his country, first through his wartime service then as a decorated Asis officer with a ‘moral compass’.    

June 2021

Fascism is alive in Australia
Stuart Rees – Pearls and Irritations – 30 June 2021
George Orwell wrote that almost any English person would accept bullying as a synonym for fascism. Political theorists refer to fascism as characterised by secrecy in government, by goals for national regeneration plus promotion of masculinity and derision of democracy. 

Greg Stretton SC slams ‘shameful apathy’ of fellow lawyers over case of Bernard Collaery
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times –  29 June 2021

Undercover Of National Security – Analysis
Murray Hunter – Eurasia Review – 24 June 2021
Whistle-blowers become scapegoats for mismanagement, misdeeds, and vested interests. 

The secrecy around Witness K is not for national security. It’s for face-saving
Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 23 June 2021
Those who benefit the most from all the secrecy may well be former members of the Howard government. The public will remain in the dark.

Australia only digging deeper hole by pursuing East Timor spying case
Gareth Evans – The Sydney Morning Herald – 23 June 2021

Change needed to counter abuses of power
Peter Whish-Wilson – The Tasmania Examiner – 23 June 2021
Senator Whish-Wilson states: “This revolving door between senior levels of government and big corporations triggered an Australian Secret Intelligence Service agent – known only as Witness K – to blow the whistle on this scandalous affair.”

The Conviction and Sentencing of Witness K
Binoy Kampmark – Counterpunch – 22 June 2021

We still need to know the facts behind Witness K case
Editorial – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021

José Ramos-Horta calls on Timor-Leste to award Australia’s Witness K top honour
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 21 June 2021
Exclusive: Former president lauds convicted bugging whistleblower for exposing ‘Australian government perfidy, bad faith and dishonesty in robbing world’s poorest country’  

A nation — and those employed to uphold its democracy — failed Witness K to the very end
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 21 June 2021
Witness K was failed at every turn by the institutions we tell ourselves make us a democracy with the rule of law. 

Australia accused of ‘excessive’ secrecy
Associated Press – Texarkarna Gazette – 21 June 2021
Australia’s suppression of information seen as pivotal to a free and open media is at the center of accusations that the country has become one of the world’s most secretive democracies.

Witness K became a scapegoat of the powerful
Susan Connelly – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021

“The game is back on”: How does spying work in Australia?
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – 21 June 2021
Our spy agencies recruit a mix of talent, from computer whizzes to people skilled in cultivating sources. What do our spies do, and who are their bosses?

Adventures in incompetence – Witness K sentenced
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 21 June 2021
This whole farce is more about protecting the real criminals in the case, those politicians and public servants who devised and planned, enabled and financed the shameful act of spying on the Timorese people. 

Witness K motivated by justice, so trial of his lawyer should be called off   (Pdf)
Editorial – The Age – 20 June 2021

Australia has prosecuted a brave individual. People who speak up keep getting arrested
Kieran Pender – The Guardian – 19 June 2021
The Witness K trial has shown how our democracy should not work. 

Guilty of bravery
Editorial – The Saturday Paper – 19 June 2021   Pdf here.

‘Scapegoating’: protesters to gather at Australian parliament before Witness K sentencing
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian– 18 June 2021
Former NSW DPP says ‘the wrong parties are being prosecuted’ in case that exposed government’s bugging of Timor-Leste during oil and gas negotiations in 2004.  Pdf here.

Witness K spared jail after pleading guilty to breaching secrecy laws over Timor-Leste bugging
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 18 June 2021
ACT magistrate Glenn Theakston says Witness K appeared to be motivated by justice rather than personal gain.  Pdf.

Sentencing of Witness K a dark day for democracy in Australia
Media Release – Human Rights Law Centre – 18 June 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K Prosecution Shameful
Senator Rex Patrick – Media Release – 18 June 2021   Here is a pdf.

Former Australian spy ‘Witness K’ pleads guilty to conspiring to reveal classified information
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 17 June 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K speaks for first time in open court as he pleads guilty to breaching secrecy laws
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 17 June 2021
Former spy charged over his role in exposing Australia’s 2004 bugging of impoverished ally Timor-Lest
e.  Pdf here.

Spies, Lies and Ties Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Richard Ackland – The Saturday Paper – 12 June 2021
Kafka’s book “The Trial” is alternatively macabre and comical – much like the Commonwealth’s case against our own K, Witness K, and his former lawyer, Bernard Collaery.   Pdf here.

Drop the Whistleblower Prosecutions: An Interview With AAPP’s Kathryn Kelly
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 09/06/2021 by Paul Gregoire

Stalinist-style prosecutions of  Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations –  7 June 2021
Following the Bernard Collaery and Witness K matters, occasionally there are little glimpses into the strange Stalinist world within which the Commonwealth beavers away to discredit two distinguished Australians. The Senate Estimates hearing on 29 May provided such an opportunity.
Pdf here.

Who just gives away billions? Is this what the Collaery case is all about?
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 4 June 2021
Many of us have heard about the prosecution of Bernard Collaery on the say-so of Christian Porter. But very few know much more than that it is an almost secret trial against the former ACT Attorney-General. Unfortunately, John le Carré is no longer with us to tell this intriguing tale.  Here’s a pdf.

May 2021

Barr mute as Labor locals speak up for Collaery
Robert Macklin – City -26 May 2021
“Where, oh where, was Chief Minister Andrew Barr? I have searched the records and can find not a single indication of his support for Bernard Collaery,” writes “The Gadfly” columnist ROBERT MACKLIN. (Pdf.)

Australian Media in the Asian Century
Hamish McDonald ~ Pearls and Irritations ~ 21 May 2021   Pdf here.

Media Watch  ~  24 May 2021
The Canberra lawyer on official secrets charges continues to fight to have his hearing held in open court.

Bernard Collaery rails against secrecy of his whistleblower trial
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – May 23, 2021
Bernard Collaery will be tried behind closed doors for exposing the Coalition. Under a little- used provision, the government can exclude who they choose.   Here’s a pdf.

The Reign of Secrecy
Susan ConnellySisters of St Joseph NSW Newsletter19 May 2021

No to secret trial of Collaery, Witness K
Jim McIlroy – Green Left Weekly – 18 May 2021      Pdf here.

ACT Labor MPs all back Bernard Collaery, Witness K in joint condemnation of prosecution
Alexandra Back – The Canberra Times – 17 May 2021
Bernard Collaery will fight secrecy orders in an appeal this week ahead of his Supreme Court trial.

Collaery charges must be dropped and undemocratic secrecy orders must end
Media Release – Human Rights Law Centre – 17 May 2021
The Human Rights Law Centre is calling for the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) to drop the prosecutions of whistleblowers Bernard Collaery and Witness K, which to date have been shrouded in secrecy.  Pdf here.

Canberra ALP Members’ Statement on Bernard Collaery and Witness K
17 May 2021   Find pdf here.    Also Canberra Times report.

Secrecy challenge by Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery will itself be held in secret
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 17 May 2021
ACT court closes hearing of appeal by lawyer representing whistleblower due to requirements of National Security Information Act    Here’s a pdf.

Bernard Collaery’s appeal hearing to challenge secret trial closed to the public
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – May 17, 2021   Pdf.

‘Entirely undemocratic’: Bernard Collaery to challenge secrecy orders
Anthony Galloway – The Sydney Morning Herald – 14 May 2021   Here is a pdf.

Cash signals that AG intervention to stop whistleblower prosecutions would be ‘very unusual’
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – May 13, 2021
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash has dashed hopes that her office will intervene in Australia’s continued persecution of whistleblowers. Pdf here.

Oil and gas industry fights Morrison government levy of up to $1bn to decommission rig
Ben Butler – The Guardian – 12 May 2021   Here is a pdf.
Federal budget revealed plans to levy industry to decommission Northern Endeavour in the Timor Sea and remediate associated oilfields

The Other Swindled Partner
Susan Connelly  – Pearls and Irritations – 6 May 2021
Not only were the Timorese people diddled by the 2002 Timor Sea Treaty, but Australians were too.   Pdf here.

Whistleblowing to the Media
Rebecca Ananian-Welsh –  Uni. of Queensland – 6 May 2021
Press Freedom Policy Papers Reform Briefing 2/2020  (Pdf only)

Secret Australian prosecution ‘unprecedented’ and must never happen again, watchdog told
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 4 May 2021
Law centre says ex-spy Witness J’s case has echoes of authoritarianism and National Security Information Act needs ‘adequate safeguards’.   Pdf here.

Addressing misconduct should not be a crime
Kieran Pender – Canberra Times – 3 May 2021
According to the United Nations, World Press Freedom Day – marked today – is intended to serve “as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.”  Here’s a pdf.

Whistleblowers could be in more trouble than those they expose
Mike Simpson –Australian Times – 02 May 2021
Study warns that flawed laws mean those who expose organisational corruption in the media may be the ones to face criminal charges.   Pdf here.

April 2021

Whistleblowers are being scared into silence, hampering efforts to expose corruption in Australia, research finds
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 April 2021      Pdf here.
New policy paper calls for an overhaul of laws that create barriers for whistleblowers to speak publicly about their concerns.

Opaque Justice  (Pdf)
Human Rights Law Centre – 30 April 2021
Concerns the NSI Act and the “Alan Johns” (Witness J) affair.

Prosecutors refuse to drop case against tax office whistleblower Richard Boyle
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 29 April 2021
Director of public prosecutions was considering ending pursuit of ex-ATO employee who went public with concerns about debt recovery tactics.  Pdf here.

Secret document is key: Witness K lawyer
AAP – Yahoo News – 28 April 2021
Attorney-General Michaelia Cash can expect to be served a subpoena to produce a secret document that Witness K’s lawyer says is vital to his defence.  Pdf here.

Ex-spook Witness K closer to day in court
Marion Rae – The Canberra Times – 29 March 2021
Former spy Witness K may finally get a day in court after years of political and procedural delays to stop the exposure of Australia’s operations against its friend and neighbour East Timor.  Pdf here.

Guilty parties remain free in ‘chilling’ Witness K prosecution
Naomi Neilson – Lawyers Weekly – |05 April 2021
Some main points from ANU Webinar 31 March 2021    Here’s a pdf.

Cash ‘should review’ Collaery prosecution
Luke Costin – The Canberra Times – 02 April 2021
The ACT Bar Association has called for the prosecution of lawyer Bernard Collaery to be halted.  Pdf here.

ACT Bar Association Media Release
Time to Reconsider the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery
1 April 2021
With the announcement that Christian Porter will be replaced as Commonwealth Attorney-General, the ACT Bar Association calls on incoming Attorney, The Hon. Michaelia Cash to review the prosecution of former ACT Attorney-General Bernard Collaery.   Pdf here.

Commonwealth prosecutors wrong on Witness K case, former NSW DPP says
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 01 April 2021
Nicholas Cowdery doubts the prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K is in the public interest and believes it could undermine confidence in the justice system    Read pdf here.

March 2021

Michaelia Cash as AG makes the pursuit of K and Collaery even more absurd
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 30 March 2021
Cash refused to assist police investigating a crime in her office. Now she’s in charge of prosecuting two men who exposed Howard government crimes.   Pdf here.

Australian government backflips on secrecy push in Witness K court case
Shift surprises ABC during its attempt to stop commonwealth from automatically closing court proceedings
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 29 March 2021   Pdf here.

Ex-spook Witness K closer to day in court
Marion Rae – Canberra Times – 29 March 2021    Pdf.

Prosecution of whistleblower Witness K costs taxpayers $4 million
Albert McKnight – The Riot Act – 29 March 2021  Here’s a pdf.

Prosecutor considering dropping charges against ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 March 2021
Boyle went public with concerns about tax office tactics in 2018 after raising the issue internally in 2017    Here’s a pdf.

Marise Payne says Australia won’t trade away values to restart China dialogue
Anthony Galloway – Sydney Morning Herald – 20 March 2021
Some points from the article made by Ms Payne:
Australia’s concern for a rules-based global order
might is not right
power does not mean everything
Australia’s determination not to ignore important principles and values
importance of how countries exercise their strength and power   Pdf here.

Spies target Australian exporters’ trade secrets
Anthony Galloway –Sydney Morning Herald online – 22 March 2021
Foreign spies are targeting Australia’s mining and agricultural industries in a bid to get sensitive information on how the nation is diversifying trade away from China.   Find pdf here.

Rising secrecy across Australia allows corruption to thrive
As Australia has become more corrupt it has also become far less transparent — the number of successful FOI requests has dropped alarmingly.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 18 March 2021   Find pdf here.

Money for influence: the core transaction at the heart of Australian politics
This is part one of The Dirty Country, Crikey’s deep dive into Australian corruption. Read the series introduction here.Bernard Keane – Crikey – 17 March 2021   Here’s a pdf.

Corruption is pervasive in Australia — it’s time to stop the rot
In a new series, Crikey looks at how corruption isn’t just on the rise in Australia, it’s far worse than anyone thought …
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 17 March 2021   Pdf here.

Witness K, Bernard Collaery, Christian Porter and Justice.
Alan Moir Cartoon, March 2021   Pdf.

Christian Porter responsible for serial breaches of the law, now cries “rule of law”
Elizabeth Minter – Pearls and Irritations – 4 March 2021
Christian Porter is responsible for serial breaches of the law, as documented repeatedly by Pearls and Irritations. These revelations alone should be enough to see Porter removed from official duties but his relentless persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery – both denied natural justice and prosecuted in secret – are hardly the stuff of a model litigant. Yet now the besieged Attorney-General calls for rule of law to apply in respect of the rape allegations against him.
Pdf found here.

National security watchdog launches investigation into secret trial of Witness J
ABC News –  Matthew Doran – 2 March 2021
An investigation into the top secret trial, sentencing and jailing of a former military intelligence officer has been restarted by the national security watchdog.   Pdf here.

February 2021

Remembering Darwin and …
On a warm Thursday morning 79 years ago, on 19 February 1942, two forces of Japanese bombers swept over the Arafura Sea to drop bombs on Darwin…When Australians remember the bombing of Darwin – which they should – as a shocking and potentially portentous event in Australia’s history, they might also consider the sufferings of the people of Timor, and Australia’s part in it.
Peter Stanley – Pearls and Irritations -21 February 2021   Pdf found here.

From Behrouz Boochani to Bernard Collaery: photographer Hoda Afshar turns her lens on whistleblowers
Three years after her famous portrait of Behrouz Boochani won the Bowness prize, the Iranian-born photographer sees Greek tragedy in those who speak out
Kelly Burke – The Guardian – 10 February 2021

Canberra judge blasts ‘unfair’ federal government delay in Bernard Collaery case
Albert McKnight – The Riotact – 10 February 2021  Pdf here.

Judge slams Porter’s delay in Collaery case
Christian Porter’s attempts to string out and obstruct Bernard Collaery’s defence have again been criticised.
Bernard Keane – Crikey­­ ­- 9 February, 2021   Here’s a pdf.

Judge rules against government over ‘unfair’ attempts to prevent Bernard Collaery’s use of new barrister
Naomi Neilson – Lawyers Weekly – 09 February 2021
In vacating appeal dates, Justice John Burns said the Attorney-General’s solicitors carried a “disturbing suggestion” that they could refuse Bernard Collaery’s new legal representation. Pdf here.

Judge rules Australian government’s attempt to obstruct Bernard Collaery’s use of barrister ‘unfair’
Justice John Burns says attorney general has no role in determining whether it is necessary for Collaery to engage new counsel.
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –  9 February 2021   Pdf here.

January 2021

Bernard Collaery: East Timor spy trial delayed after government refused to let barrister Bret Walker SC join defence team
Craig Dunlop – Daily Telegraph/Canberra Star – 28 January 2021
Bret Walker will represent whistleblower lawyer Bernard Collaery in the East Timor bugging case, despite ‘resistance’ from the government   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery case: Safes for judges among special secrecy measures
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 27 January 2021   Pdf here.

Are Australia’s democratic safeguards shrinking?
Jocelyn Pixley – Pearls and Irritations – 13 January 2021
In light of worrying developments, I review the trends putting pressure on our democratic institutions. Fortunately, new policies and serious protests can halt the trends and bring out the better nature of voters. However, such movements are not in sight.    (This is a pdf.)

December 2020

The Pitts: Government gifts Woodside $130 million Christmas present
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 30 December 2020.   Pdf here.
Read how the Australian taxpayer is footing Woodside’s bills at $130 million.

Review of Oil Under Troubled Water
Kieran Pender – Times Literary Supplement – 18 December 2020  Here’s a pdf.

The cost of courage: Australia must do more to protect whistleblowers
Kieran Pender –Sydney Morning Herald – 17 December 2020  Find pdf here.

Politicians and Prosecutions
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 16 December 2020
The ongoing prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery are political.  Pdf here.

Drop all Charges Against David McBride
Kathryn Kelly – Canberra Times –   8 December 2020  (Tiff).

Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery wins international free speech prize
Lawyer earns the UK’s Blueprint for Free Speech whistleblowing prize for his efforts exposing Australia’s spy operation in Timor-Leste
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 3 December 2020   Pdf here.

November 2020

MP calls for Porter explanation on the persecution of K and Collaery
Bernard Keane – ­Crikey – 26 November 2020
A Labor MP with close links to Timor-Leste (Luke Gosling) has called on Christian Porter to explain himself over the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery and suggests ‘reputational protection’ is behind the secrecy of the trial. Pdf.

Higher authorities
Hamish McDonald – The Inside Story – 20 November 2020
Who is being helped by the continuing pressure on Bernard Collaery and Witness K?   Pdf here.

(This article was also printed in the Canberra Times as “Who is being helped by putting Bernard Collaery on trial?”)

If moral courage matters, this whistleblower needs defending
Nick Xenophon – The Sydney Morning Herald – 18 November 2020
As a last resort, David McBride finally “blew the whistle” by going to the media. The ABC published the “Afghan Files” in July 2017, setting out shocking details of war crimes and cover-ups – from material that McBride provided. The “Afghan Files” were a breakthrough revelation for Australians.  See Pdf here.

Australians must ensure pandemic powers aren’t extended beyond crisis, Law Council warns
Daniel Hurst – The Guardian – 18 November 2020
Hotly debated rights ‘are in fact backed by few constitutional or statutory guarantees’.  Pdf here.

Private becomes public for politicians in a changed world
Josh Bornstein – The Age – 16 November 2020
Differing views on the Four Corners revelations. Probable revenge against the ABC. Pdf.

It’s no surprise that Morrison’s federal anti- corruption body is weak
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – 16 November 2020  Pdf here.

Strong reasons Porter must go
Kathryn Kelly’s letter – Canberra Times – 16 November 2020

Citizenship test changes deserve an ‘F’
Kim Rubenstein – The Public Sector Informant – November 2020.

Porter’s secret state: how the attorney-general leads the government’s war against accountability
Georgia Wilkins and David Hardaker – Crikey Newsletter – 12 November 2020
As attorney-general, Porter has pursued secrecy in all its forms. Crikey runs through some of the lowlights.  Pdf here.

While Porter parties, his protection racket inflicts misery
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 12 November 2020
As Alan Tudge tried to protect Christian Porter from embarrassment, so Porter is trying to protect Alexander Downer from scrutiny over his role in the bugging of Timor-Leste.  Here’s a pdf.

Spying on Timor: Government, not whistleblowers should be on trial
Erwin Chlanda – Alice Springs News –  11 November 2020   Pdf here.

Activists petition Federal government over persecuting whistleblowers
The Byron Shire Echo – 11 November 2020 – page 9
Gareth Smith and companions sent over 4,000 petition signatures to the Attorney-General.  Pdf.

The minister in charge of integrity has just lost a lot of integrity.
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – 10 November 2020
Christian Porter was pushing his toothless anti-corruption watchdog even as his behaviour was being investigated by the media.

Prosecutors agreed not to press for Witness K custodial sentence, barrister says
Cassandra Morgan – The Canberra Times – 9 November 2020
Lawyers for the ex-spy Witness K say he agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge on grounds prosecutors wouldn’t press for him to be jailed. Barrister Robert Richter QC represented Witness K via audio-visual link in the ACT Magistrates Courts on Monday. The ex-spy has indicated he will admit to conspiring to breach s39 of the Intelligence Services Act, which makes punishable the revealing of information of any kind about the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. But Mr Richter said Witness K did so in the context of an agreement with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Here is a pdf of the article

Nationwide protests against secret trial of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Jim McIlroy and Alex Salmon – Green Left Weekly – 9 November 2020   Pdf here.

A Clayton’s Integrity Commission?
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations –  4 November 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Woodside leaves oil rig for taxpayers to clean up; is Exxon next in the Bass Strait?
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 4 November 2020
Taxpayers are on the hook for the $200 million-plus clean-up of an ageing oil production platform moored in the Timor Sea partly because of a loophole in government regulations    Pdf here.

October 2020

The Witness K Case: when prosecution becomes persecution
Warren Reed – Online Opinion – 28 October 2020   Pdf.

Dan Oakes, Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 23 October 2020
Dear Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, please demonstrate that the decisions whether or not to prosecute, and the decisions to continue the prosecutions of Collaery and K, are not influenced by possible political advantage, disadvantage or embarrassment to the Government.  Please apply the Prosecution Policy to the facts in front of you, uninfluenced by what Porter and the Government so obviously want.  Do your lawful duty!  Drop the prosecutions!   (Find pdf here.)

Rex Patrick takes aim at Alexander Downer over foreign consultant job
Shannon Jenkins – The Mandarin – 22 October 2020.  Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery and Witness K trial costs revealed in budget estimates   (Pdf)
Katie Burgess – The Canberra Times – 22 October 2020
The Coalition government has spent more than $3 million prosecuting Bernard Collaery and Witness K, as officials reject claims the lawyer and whistleblower have been subjected to a secret trial. Here is a pdf.

‘Chilling attack on democracy’: proposed Asio powers could be used against journalists
Daniel Hurst – The Guardian – 20 October 2020

Secrecy in trial of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery an offence against open justice
Peak law body says secrecy laws invoked in Timor-Leste bugging case come at ‘expense of the rights of the accused’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 16 October 2020   Pdf.

Law Council President, Pauline Wright, support to Bernard Collaery
Media Statement – Pauline Wright – 16 October 2020  Pdf here.

Balibo forty-five years on – and it still stinks of cover-up and collusion
Today marks 45 years since five Australian journalists were murdered in East Timor. Yet questions about who knew what and when still remain.
Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 16 October 2020   Pdf here.

Too many lies and cover-ups
Ian Melrose – The Canberra Times – 16 October 2020  (Pdf.)

Forty-five years on, secrets of the Balibo atrocity haunt Australia
Susan Connelly – Sydney Morning Herald – 16 October 2020   Find pdf here.

Witness K and Bernard Collaery: An Unjust Prosecution Gets Even Worse
Spencer Zifcak – Pearls and Irritations – 12 October 2020
The prosecution of former ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery, and his client, Witness K, continues to play itself out before the ACT Supreme Court. This is a legal fiasco of the first order. The prosecution should never have commenced. Pdf.

Timor-Leste’s gas dreams fade
Hamish McDonald – The Saturday Paper – 3-9 October 2020
Timor-Leste’s plans for developing its oil and gas industry, made possible after winning back control of offshore fields from Australia, have stalled as the coronavirus pandemic drives down prices and the country’s new leadership questions the scheme’s economic rationale. Read this as pdf.

September 2020

Australian government cites ‘chilling effect’ on cabinet in bid to block release of papers
in Timor-Leste spy case
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 September 2020
Attorney general’s lawyers say they should not have to provide the documents, including briefing for prime minister, because it is not in public interest.  See pdf here.

Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 29 September 2020
By his response lastweek to the Federal Court’s finding that Immigration Minister Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by detaining an asylum-seeker for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General.   See pdf here.

The slippery slope to spying on our own people
Robert Macklin – City News – 24 September 2020
“It was a redirection of the government’s spyforce to our own people. It was one giant leap towards the kind of governments they have in Russia and China. To put it as mildly as I can, it was an outrage,” writes “The Gadfly” columnist Robert Macklin. Here is a pdf.

The closed-door contracts flourishing in these COVID times
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – 21 September 2020
Increasingly, government contracts appear to be flying out the door with limited checks and balances.  Pdf here.
(Click here for article on Woodside referred to in the article above.)

We need a standing Royal Commission to supervise our intelligence agencies
 John MenaduePearls and Irritations -13 September 2020   Pdf here.

Safe Space for Spying: What remains unsaid by the Signals Directorate
Clinton Fernandes – Arena – 10 September 2020   Read pdf here.

China’s leader takes a turn for the particularly stupid… and ours is no better
Michael Pascoe – The New Daily –  9 September 2020
It’s a dark time for journalism on any number of fronts, a dark time for trust in institutions, for promoting an informed polity.  Pdf only.

The atrocious foreign interference law – It doesn’t add up
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations  –7 September 2020  Here’s a pdf.

An appeal to the Australian legal fraternity – Lawyers4Collaery
Geoff Etches – Pearls and Irritations – 7 September 2020

Coalition’s push for secret trials: behaviour of a tin-pot dictatorship
Ian Cunliffe – Michael West Media – 7 September 2020
Claims that the release of information poses a risk to national security can be used to avoid legitimate scrutiny of conduct. If ever there were reasons to suspect a cover-up by this government, the Bernard Collaery and Witness K court cases are prime examples.  Pdf here.

The government’s lack of transparency can’t go unchecked
Ebony Bennett – The Canberra Times – 5 September 2020
The Coalition government is handing police and intelligence agencies more and more powers and subjecting them to less and less scrutiny. We should all be alert and alarmed.   See here for pdf.

Woodside pockets millions from government to clean up its own mess
Georgia Wilkins and Bernard Keane – Crikey – 03 September 2020
Woodside Energy being paid to take care of its own mess is certainly eyebrow raising, but it’s simply a small part of the long and questionable relationship between the company and the Australian government.  Here is a pdf.

August 2020

Ian Cunliffe  – Hey True Blue, is this who we are in 2020?

We need a standing Royal Commission to supervise our intelligence agencies
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations– 31 August 2020

Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 29 September 2020
By his response last week to the Federal Court’s finding that Immigration Minister Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by detaining an asylum-seeker for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General. Pdf here.

Authoritarianism in Australia: right-wing politics in the antipodes
Pam Stavropoulos – DiEM25 – 28 August 2020

Australia’s attorney general Christian Porter accused of abusing powers in whistleblower trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –26 August 2020
The federal government faces accusations of invoking the National Security Information Act to interfere in case against barrister Bernard Collaery. During Senate question time, the government was asked why Christian Porter asked to have “first access” to documents held by Woodside Petroleum before they were provided to Bernard Collaery. (See Senate text below the pdf article)

Judicial independence: the Nazi or the Australian way?
Ian Cunliffe – John Menadue’s “Pearls and Irritations” – 25 August 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Attorney General Christian Porter breaches law over three years, claims it was a mistake
Kieran Adair – Michael West Media – 21 August 2020   Find pdf here.

Bernard Collaery, East Timor and Governmental Duplicity
George Browning – Pearls and Irritations – 21 August 2020 Find pdf here.
The extent of the outrage and the reason the government is desperate to keep hidden its unlawful behaviour through the prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K has now had a little further light shone upon it.

“It should never have happened”: Albanese speaks out on Witness K
The Leader of the Opposition, speaks out on the spying and the prosecutions.
Charlie Lewis – Crikey – 21 August 2020    Pdf here.

Click here for comment by David Odling-Smee on Bernard Collaery’s book Oil Under Troubled Water

Witness K is in the dock but institutions vital to Australia’s democracy are on trial
Ian Cunliffe – The Guardian – 17 August 2020   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery trial is a highly unusual criminal prosecution
After nine months of hearings, seven judgments, and government spending of $2 million, we still know too little about the prosecutions of Bernard Collaery and Witness K.
Ian Cunliffe – Australian Financial Review – 14 August 2020    Read pdf here.

Australian government spends almost $3m waging ‘war’ on whistleblowers in court
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 7 August 2020  
Whistleblowers should be treated as heroes, not as criminals, independent senator Rex Patrick says. Read pdf here.

Bernard Collaery: A warrior for democracy
Veteran lawyer at the centre of the sensational Witness K trial over allegations Australia bugged East Timor’s government tells of his fight against the creep of 9/11-era national security laws.
Tom McIlroy – Australian Financial Review – 7 August 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Canberrans stand in support of whistleblowers
Cassandra Power – Canberra Weekly  – 6 August 2020

July 2020

Why Bernard Collaery’s case is one of the gravest threats to freedom of expression
Spencer Zifcak – Law Society Journal – 31 July 2020   Pdf here.

Secret trials threaten open justice in Australia
Kevin Rennie – Global Voices – 30 July 2020
Whistleblowers, lawyers and journalists face prosecutions without proper public scrutiny   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery: ACT Supreme Court reveals fresh details surrounding ‘secret’ spy trial
Craig Dunlop – Canberra Star/ Daily Telegraph – 30 July 2020     Pdf here.

Threats to Australian democracy are closer to home than China
David Neal – Brisbane Times – 27 July 2020

Knock on Woodside
Richard Ackland – The Saturday Paper – 25-31 July 2020   Pdf here.

Australia’s dirty secret and the trial too sensitive for an open court
John Hewson – The Sydney Morning Herald – 26 July 2020   Pdf here.

Secret trials: our judges need to resist the government’s pressure
Ian Cunliffe – Sydney Morning Herald – 23 July 2020   Pdf here.

Stronger checks needed for boosted spying powers
Editorial – Sydney Morning Herald – 12 July 2020   Pdf here.

Witness K and the Australian spying operation that continues to betray Timor-Leste
Kim McGrath – The Guardian – 12 July 2020    Pdf here.
Charges against Bernard Collaery and his retired ASIS agent client confirm the government has few regrets about an exploitative exercise against a friendly neighbour

When the government prosecutes whistleblowers, it is sending a message
Ebony Bennett – The Canberra Times – 11 July 2020   Pdf here.

Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery to appeal against secrecy in Timor-Leste bugging trial
Christopher Knaus –The Guardian – 10 July 2020

Crossbench pushes for inquiry into prosecution of Witness K and lawyer
Labor seeks briefing from Christian Porter – who accuses party of saying one thing in public and another in private
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 08 July 2020   See pdf here.

Timor-Leste: court upholds Australian government refusal to release documents on Indonesia’s invasion
Helen Davidson and Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 04 July 2020

June 2020

Porter’s Collaery cover-up gets legal blessing, but is Labor starting to do its job?
As the government scores a win in its shameful secret prosecution of Bernard Collaery, it seems like Labor is finally starting to wake up.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 29 June 2020    Pdf here.

Part of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery’s trial will be heard in secret, judge rules
Elizabeth Byrne and  Matthew Doran  – ABC News – 27 June 2020

Wasteful, Secret and Vicious: The Absurd Prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Binoy Kampmark – Scoop – 27 June 2020

Lawyer Secretly Prosecuted for Exposing Crimes of Australian Government
Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 27 June 2020

Court rules key parts of Bernard Collaery trial to be held in secret
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 26 June 2020

Coalition spends $2m on prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K, even before trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 26 June 2020   Pdf here.

Sub-Imperial State: Australian Dirty Work
Clinton Fernandes – Arena Quarterly – 23 June 2020   Here is a pdf.
This article discusses Bernard Collaery’s book, and Brian Toohey’s book “Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State”.
Both authors investigate security concerns, agreeing that it is a concept which gives priority to economic interests and requires a political order which places greatest value on those interests.

Australia likened to North Korea in its secret trial of Bernard Collaery
Luke Henrique-Gomes – The Guardian – 23 June 2020

The most oppressive of the western democracies
Alison Broinowski – Pearls and Irritations – 23 June 2020

Secret Trials Down Under: Witness J, Witness K And Bernard Collaery

Can trials be held in secret, like the one against Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery?
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 21 June 2020

The secret trial that could turn pear-shaped for the government
Andrew Clark – The Australian Financial Review – 20 June 2020
“As Professor Fernandes puts it: ‘The difference between the core fact of espionage and the ancillary fact of Collaery revealing and Witness K disclosing that information [means] it’s absurd that they might be convicted on the basis of the ancillary facts being true while the prosecution refuses to admit the core facts are true’.”  Here is a pdf.

Is the tide starting to turn on the government’s Bernard Collaery prosecution?
Crikey –  Tips and Rumours – 18 June 2020

Stop the sleaze, please
Paddy Manning – The Monthly – 16 June 2020   Pdf.

Espionage and Open Democracy
Editorial – The Australian – 16 June 2020     Here’s a pdf.

Why is Bernard Collaery’s trial a secret?
Steve Bracks – The Australian – 15 June 2020  Here’s a pdf.

Let’s reclaim our freedom and decriminalise journalism
Marcus Strom – The Sydney Morning Herald – 04 June 2020  Here’s a pdf.

The extraordinary cost so far of the prosecutions of Bernard Collaery and Witness K  (pdf)

How a national security law is leading to secret trials in Australia
The Full Story  – Laura Murphy-Oates interviews Christopher Knause – 01 June 2020
Audio 26 minutes. First 15 min concern Witness K and Bernard Collaery, followed by discussion of the secret trial of “Witness J”.

May 2020

‘I am unable to say much’: anger simmers as Timor bugging hearing goes ahead in secret
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 May 2020

Secrecy, sure, but they have erased me
Witness J (not “K”) –The Canberra Times – 30 May 2020   Here is a pdf.

Good People Break Bad Laws
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 29 May 2020  Pdf.

No News is Bad News
Paddy Manning – The Monthly – 29 May 2020

‘Stars’ come out for Collaery
Crikey – Charlie Lewis – 28 May 2020

Twitter thread about photos of Gareth Evans etc at hearing
28 May 2020

“Sad times”: Bernard Collaery laments “now fragile democracy” as pre-trial hearing held in secret
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 25 May 2020

How National Security powers are being used to prosecute whistleblowers
Kieran Adair – XenophonDavis – 25 May 2020    Here’s a pdf

Dutton’s ASIO bill goes Kafkaesque
Justin Glyn – Eureka Street – 18 May 2020   Pdf here.

April 2020

Whistleblower lawyer paying a tough price for his bravery
Greg Barns – The Mercury – 20 April 2020

High Court throws out AFP warrant against News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst
Elizabeth Byrne and Matthew Doran – ABC – 15 April 2020    Pdf here.
The outcome – so far – of a deeply disturbing event.

The court case Australians are not allowed to know about: how national security is being used to bully citizens
Richard Ackland – The Guardian – 11 April 2020  Pdf.

It’s a crime to report a crime: an interview with lawyer Bernard Collaery
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 1 April 2020

March 2020

Working from Home
The Canberra Times – 29 March 2020

Not yet possible to say coronavirus would preclude fair Bernard Collaery hearing: judge
Blake Fodden ­- The Canberra Times – 20 March 2020

Bernard Collaery’s bombshell
Hamish McDonald – Inside Story – 19 March 2020   See pdf here

Coronavirus concern could delay Bernard Collaery case
Blake Fodden – The Canberra Times – 19 March 2020

Why this barrister is facing conspiracy charges
Jerome Doraisamy – Lawyers Weekly – 12 March 2020

Murdered journalists “a hurdle” for Jakarta in concealing Timor invasion
Robert Baird – Asia Pacific Report – 6 March 2020

The “Witness J” case – we need to know more
Michael Pelly – Australian Financial Review – 7 March 2020
Former intelligence officer ‘Witness J’ served time in jail after a secret trial. This article refers to Witness K and Bernard Collaery, with comments by eminent judges and lawyers.  A similar pdf here.

Murdered Journalists “a Hurdle” in Concealing TL Invasion, book says
Robert Baird – Tatoli  – 6 March 2020

Australia knew of dangers facing murdered Balibo Five journalists, book says
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 04 March 2020

Were our spies compromised by Balibó? New book reveals more sordid history.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 03 March 2020

National security watchdog to probe case of Witness J, who was tried, sentenced and jailed in total secrecy
Matthew Doran and Andrew Probyn – ABC News – 2 March 2020
“…there has been an apparently unique set of circumstances in modern Australia where a person was charged, arraigned, pleaded guilty, sentenced and served his sentence with minimal public knowledge of the details of the crime, as a result of consent orders which were not the subject of published judicial reasons.”

February 2020

Intelligence Branch
Sam Vincent – The Monthly – February 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Whistleblower lawyer represents whistleblower in Australia
Rod McGurk – Associated Press – 14 February 2020

Assange must be freed, not betrayed
John Pilger, RT Question More, 22 February, 2020

Assange, Collaery, Snowden, Smethurst: criminalising truth
Alison Broinowski – Independent Australia – 9 February, 2020


January 2020

Timor-Leste failed budget sparks political crisis
Michael Leach – Lowy Institute ~ The Interpreter – 20 January 2020

Australia: National Security Laws Chill Free Speech
Human Rights Watch – 14 January 2020
Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.

The public has a right to know – an interview with Witness J
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 8 January 2020


December 2019

“You Have a Right to Know”: An Interview With Witness J
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 31 December 2019
Commonwealth orders  suppressed information concerning the arrest, trial, conviction and jailing of a former Australian intelligence official, known now as “Witness J”.  This matter prompted former NSW Supreme Court Justice Anthony Whealy to question whether Australia is becoming a “totalitarian state”.

Australians are “alarmingly” losing their personal freedoms, global monitor warns
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – 30 December 2019

2019: a failed system leaves citizens bereft
Bernard Keane – Crikey– 20 December 2019  Pdf here.

Phones taken, court closed in spy case
Finbar O’Mallon – The Canberra Times – 11 December 2019
The ACT Supreme Court heard the case against Bernard Collaery behind closed doors on Wednesday.

How Official Secrets hides our spying nation’s dirty deeds
Paul Bongiorno – The New Daily – 10 December 2019

Australia’s civil rights rating downgraded as report finds world becoming less free
Ben Doherty – The Guardian – 8 December 2019

The spying on Timor-Leste case … et cetera (part 9)
George Venturini – The Aim Network – 7 December 2019

Secret trials in the ACT courts
Ernst Willheim – Pearls and Irritations­ – 2 December 2019
Canberrans were shocked to read on the front page of the Canberra Times on Saturday 23 November about a mystery prisoner, referred to as ‘Alan Johns’, who was prosecuted and jailed for charges unknown to the public or the Alexander Maconochie Centre (the ACT prison).

Perrett breaks Labor silence on K and Collaery
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 05 December 2019     Here is a pdf.

No Right to Know:  Government is Secretly Prosecuting Australian Citizens
Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 1 December 2019

Wannabe Spy
Kellie Merritt – Pearls and Irritations – 5 December 2019
“Downer is out and proud of his political status, there is more money to be made. But don’t be fooled, under the silky lined Burberry trench coat, Downer, the politician, is hiding a spy alter ego which has been crafting spook intrigue and deception for decades. Just enough to make any spy operative fearful… unless he crosses the path of witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery.”

Secret trials in the ACT courts
Ernst Willheim – Pearls and Irritations – 2 December 2019
A mystery prisoner, referred to as ‘Alan Johns’, has been prosecuted and jailed for charges unknown to the public or the prison in which he was held. The article gives major focus on the equally disturbing trials of “Witness K” and Bernard Collaery.

November 2019

Two East Timorese presidents give evidence backing Bernard Collaery in Witness K trial
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News –28 November 2019

Ex-Timorese PMs may testify at spy trial
AAP – The Canberra Times – 27 November 2019

Attorney-General given more time to digest star witnesses as Collaery case further delayed
Cassandra Morgan – The Canberra Times – 27 November 2019
Planned hearing on December 11 was to be replaced by a directions hearing on December 2. (As it turned out,
the December 11 hearing did go ahead.) “The court would also use Monday’s directions hearing and the original preliminary hearing dates, December 11 to 13, to discuss whether some of the attorney-general’s material should be confidential or ‘court only’.”

Porter denies delaying Collaery trial, while delaying Collaery trial
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 27 November 2019
Christian Porter has again succeeded in delaying the trial of Bernard Collaery — but, absurdly, his barrister claims he’s not responsible for any delays.

Don’t mention the war: why Canberra suppresses the story of East Timor
Michael Koziol – The Sydney Morning Herald – 24 November 2019
Revelations that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is waging a war of its own against the publication of an official history of our involvement in the East Timor conflict have alarmed – but not necessarily surprised – the country’s most esteemed military historians.

Former spy Witness K set for plea in April
Finbar O’Mallon – AAP – 15 November 2019

I spy something beginning with K
Joe Higgins – The Catholic Leader – 10 November 2019
Here is a pdf of the article.

A Secretive State: The Collaery Trial and National Security Disclosures
Kieran Hardy – Australian Public Law – 6 November 2019
“The Collaery trial is a single prosecution, but it reflects a wider trend in which the federal government has sought to clamp down on the public discussion of national security information. It signals a willingness in government to prosecute whistleblowers for revealing sensitive information, even where the discloser’s intention is to promote transparency, accountability and benefit the wider public interest. The definition of what constitutes national security information has also expanded to the point where it no longer relates merely to security, defence or political violence, but to all political and economic relations with other countries.”

Australia Timor-Leste relations are back on track
Michael Leach – East Asia Review – 5 November 2019

Suspected whistleblowers targeted by police in Helloworld travel scandal
Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker – The Sydney Morning Herald – October 31, 2019
Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said it was “deeply disturbing that yet again, [suspected] whistleblowers appear to be the target of a police investigation and not those whose conduct has been exposed”. Thank you Mr Dreyfus. So why are Witness K and Bernard Collaery being pursued while Alexander Downer et al are not?

October 2019

National press freedom whistleblowers to get help from rogue legal group tackling government secrecy
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson – – 31 October 2019
Whistleblowers could receive financial help and even parliamentary privilege from a rogue group of legal experts taking on government secrecy.

Soon we won’t regognise the face of Australia
Jack Waterford – Pearls and Irritations – 29 October 2019

“I spy something beginning with K”
Report of event hosted by Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors in Brisbane 29 October 2019 (pdf)

‘Your right to know’ must be balanced against other freedoms says Attorney-General
Shane Wright – The Sydney Morning Herald – 27 October 2019

Blowing the whistle on alleged wrongdoing should not destroy your life
Nassim Khadem – ABC News – 23 October 2019

Witness K lawyer warns many whistleblowers have nowhere to go
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 22 October 2019

Australia urged to return $5bn and launch Royal Commission
Helen Davidson and Ben Doherty – The Guardian – 19 October 2019

Court stops ‘amicus’ bid in bugging case
Finbar O’Mallon – Newcastle Herald – 17 August 2019

Bernard Collaery case: Private citizen’s bid to be heard in East Timor bugging case shut down
Alexandra Back – The Canberra Times – 17 October 2019

The conference banning whistleblower speeches
Crikey Inquirer – 16 October 2019
The Australian Cyber Conference 2019 is organised by the government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC). Two conference speakers, Dr Suelette Dreyfus and Thomas Drake were cancelled at the last minute.  Dreyfus is a major Australian academic specialising in information technology and whistleblowing, Evading comment by these experts flows from the government’s policy toward whistleblowers who reveal government wrongdoing, e.g. Witness K and lawyer Bernard Collaery concerning espionage against Timor-Leste.

Witness K and the “outrageous” spy scandal that failed to shame Australia
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 10 August 2019

“Harm statement” to be released to former spy Witness K
Alexandra Back – Canberra Times – 8 October 2019
It would be interesting to know what ‘harm’ Witness K has done.

Witness wants harm statement in spy case
Matt Coughlan  – St George and Sutherland Shire Leader – 8 October 2019
This article appears in dozens of local newspapers across the country

“Unattractive” orders on bugging case
Finbar O’Mallon – Northern Daily Leader – 2 October 2019

Australia’s quest for national security is undermining the courts and could lead to secretive trials
Kieran Hardy – The Conversation  – 2 October 2019  Here is a pdf.

Someone blew the whistle on Trump – if it happened in Australia we might never hear about it
Ben Oquist – The Guardian – 1 October 2019
Instead of whistleblowing protections or powerful intelligence committees Australia has raids on journalists.

September 2019

East Timor bugging cases return to court
Finbar O’Mallon – AAP – 26 September 2019

The Witness K case and government secrecy
Clinton Fernandes – The Saturday Paper – Sept 28/Oct 4, 2019

Australia’s true relationship with Timor-Leste
Sophie Raynor –Eureka Street – 9 September 2019

Crossbench senator pushes to fix ‘shameful’ historic wrong against Timor-Leste
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 9 September 2019
Centre Alliance’s Rex Patrick wants to overturn the decisions that limit Australia’s exposure to international courts.

Drop the Collaery Prosecution: An Interview With Australian Lawyers Alliance’s Greg Barnes
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 5 September 2019

Stop punishing Witness K for telling the truth on Timor
Editorial – Sydney Morning Herald – 3 September 2019

Australia confronts past with East Timor
Greg Roberts – AAP Channel 7 – 3 September 2019

Timor-Leste’s future still shadowed by the past
History and heroes hold the spotlight, 20 years after the country voted for its freedom.
Includes How Australia Crossed a Line in the Timor Sea.
Sophie Raynor – The Lowy Institute – 2 September 2019

Timor Leste and Australia: a loveless affair at twenty
Binoy Kampmark – Dissident Voice – 1 September 2019

China Eyes Stake in Southeast Asia’s Newest Oil Frontier
Tsvetana Paraskova – – 1 September 2019

August 2019

Timor-Leste independence and press freedom
Paul Bongiorno – The Saturday Paper – 31 August 2019   Click here for pdf.

“Infuriated” Alexander Downer tried to get US officials to mask Australian inaction on East Timor
Declassified documents show the then foreign affairs minister was angered by leaks showing Australia rejected US request for peacekeepers
Helen Davidson –The Guardian – 30 August 2019   Click here for pdf.

Australia spied, cheated and has now lost its moral compass
Dr Richie Gun – Civil Liberties Australia – 30 August 2019

PM rules out East Timor gas compensation
AAP Channel 9 – 30 August 2019

Australia cast itself as the hero of East Timor. But it was US military might that got troops in
Paul Daley – The Guardian – 30 August 2019

US knew Indonesia intended to stop East Timorese independence ‘through terror and violence’
Documents reveal ‘muted’ attempts to convince Indonesian officials to allow free vote to proceed
Helen Davidson – The Guardian ­ – 29 August 2019   Click here for pdf.

Secret whistleblower trial will only add to Australia’s shame over spying cover-up
Anthony Whealy – Sydney Morning Herald – August 29, 2019

Witness K lawyer alleges ‘extraordinary unexplained roadblock’ in funding his case
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 29 August 2019

Declassified intelligence documents shed light on 1999 Timor Leste independence
Anne Barker  – ABC News  29 August 2019
Newly published intelligence documents, declassified by the US, shed new light on the turbulent events surrounding the 1999 independence referendum in Timor Leste, when Indonesian-backed militia gangs went on a murderous rampage across the country.  Read pdf here.

Twenty years after independence, Timor-Leste continues its epic struggle
Sarah Niner – The Conversation  – 28 August 2019

The saga of Bernard Collaery and Witness K continues
Ernst Willheim – Pearls and Irritations – 28 August 2019
“If you watched the program [ABC 4-Corners] you will already know this is a talk about some shameful events in Australia’s recent history. And I very much fear the shameful saga is about to continue. It is about Australian commercial espionage.”

What Four Corners left out of the Witness K story
Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 28 August 2019
Four Corners got the facts straight on how the Witness K scandal was born, but there is more to the story.

After a border dispute and spying scandal, can Australia and Timor-Leste be good neighbours?
Michael Leach – The Conversation – 28 August 2019

Morrison flies into a storm in East Timor over Witness K prosecution
James Massola – The Sydney Morning Herald – 28 August 2019

This immoral act against a decent man diminishes all who pursue it
Chris Uhlmann – Sydney Morning Herald – 27 August 2019

Xanana Gusmao offers to give evidence that could embarrass Australia in Witness K trial
ABC – 25 August 2019

Trumped Up: Wiki cables show Australia thinks Iran is not the aggressor
Clinton Fernandes – Michael – 23 August 2019

Collaery battles on, but who cares?
Robert Macklin – Canberra City News – 20 August 2019

Timor-Leste, 20 years on
Mica Bareto Soares – The Lowy Institute Interpreter – 16 August 2019   Find pdf here.

Casually threatening letter exposes bureaucrats’ deep-seated contempt for media
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 14 August 2019
Don’t be surprised that the Attorney-General’s Department is threatening media outlets; its loathing for media freedom goes back a long way.

From Richard Boyle and Witness K to media raids: it’s time whistleblowers had better protection
A.J. Brown – The Conversation – 13 August 2019
Australia becoming a “police state” amid efforts to silence whistleblowers

Witness K and the “outrageous” spy scandal that failed to shame Australia
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 10 August 2019

Richard Ackland – The Saturday Paper, Gadfly – 10 August 2019
Leading the charge in the Collaery–Witness K protests is Susan Connelly of the Josephite Sisters. She rallies the troops outside the court and with ceaseless missives from her bunker in Lakemba.
“J’accuse.” Where’s Émile Zola when you need him?

Bec Strating on the State of Australia-Timor Leste Ties
Prashanth Parameswaran – The Diplomat – 13 August 2019
A conversation on the past, present, and future dynamics in Australia’s relationship with Timor-Leste.

Dutton’s dark police state creep
Michelle Pini – Independent Australia- 8 August 2019
Australian democracy has finally, painfully, reached its nadir

The big question that has gone unanswered in the Witness K saga
Madeleine Miller – Crikey – 7 August 2019
Did our government break the law in the 2004 bugging incident? Australians deserve to know.

Witness K and Collaery’s influence to be felt in Timor Leste
Sally Whyte – The Canberra Times – 7 August 2019
“It’s very instructive that the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition are going to Timor Leste to celebrate a renewal of bilateral relations and the two people most responsible for the renegotiation of the treaty are in fact Witness K and Collaery, who are facing legal sanction,” Professor Fernandes said.

Australia’s shame: Witness K punished for his service, while the guilty go free
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 7 August 2019
After years of relentless pressure, Witness K has pleaded guilty to revealing information about ASIS’ criminal conduct in Timor Leste. It is a shameful reward for a man who diligently served his country.

Witness K to plead guilty in Timor-Leste spying case, but co-accused to fight charges
Radio National Drive – 6 August 2019
Professor Clinton Fernandes explains the implications of the hearing.

Witness K to plead guilty as lawyer Bernard Collaery committed to stand trial
Alexandra Back – Canberra Times – 6 August 2019

It is a national disgrace to see Witness K treated like this
Crikey – 6 August 2019
From Witness K’s lawyer: ‘Let us be under no misapprehension. Mighty forces are at play here to hide dirty political linen.’

Witness K to plead guilty to breaching intelligence act as lawyer Bernard Collaery committed to trial
ABC News – 6 August 2019

We Accuse. We Applaud
Timor Sea Justice Forum  6 August 2019

Timor Sea Justice Forum Media Release
5 August 2019

Witness K’s endless trial
Geraldine DoogueSaturday Extra – 3 August 2019
Clinton Fernandes, Professor of International and Political Studies at UNSW Canberra
Senator Rex Patrick, Centre Alliance senator for South Australia.
In 2012 an intelligence officer known as ‘Witness K’ revealed the covert spy operation to bug the offices of Timor Leste’s government. Now he and his lawyer face prosecution. It’s a case many in the legal, political and academic professions feel deeply uneasy about.

July 2019

Timor-Leste and Australia have little to celebrate if Witness K and Bernard Collaery are not free
José Ramos-Horta – 31 Jul 2019
The trial of the former ASIS spy and his lawyer undermines the already complicated relationship between two neighbours, writes Timor-Leste’s former president. He calls on the Timorese President to bestow the Order of Timor-Leste on Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

Witness K, Bernard Collaery could have hearings split, court hears
Alexandra Back – The Canberra Times – 30 July 2019   Pdf here.
The case of a former spy and his lawyer who exposed an Australian bugging operation against the tiny nation of East Timor could be split and heard in two separate jurisdictions, a court has heard.

Australia approves treaty with East Timor over gas royalties
Rod McGurk 30 July 2019

Is ASIS feeling unloved?
Stephen Easton – The Mandarin – 30 July 2019
Asked why the public should accept foreign spies didn’t break the law or act contrary to Australian “values” the head of ASIS says the question of public confidence is “really important” to him.

Establishing Maritime Boundaries in the Timor Sea
Prime Minister’s Press Release – 29 July 2019   Find pdf here.
This would have to be one of the most outstanding examples of government hubris that anyone could have the misfortune to read.

National security being used to stifle public interest journalism, former judges warn
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 27 July 2019
The newly-formed Centre for Public Integrity has brought together a powerful collection of former judges, lawyers, and integrity experts to push for a strong federal anti-corruption body, champion donations and lobbying reform, and protect Australia’s various accountability institutions, including the media.

How Australia trashed its legacy in Timor-Leste
Sophie Raynor – Crikey – 26 July 2019
It’s almost 20 years since Australia led peacekeepers into the country but our true relationship is one threaded with manipulation, deception, bullying and greed.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbour’s Continental Shelf: Australia’s Timor Sea Maritime Boundary
Vivian Louise Forbes – Future Directions International – 25 Jul 2019
Ms Forbes believes that the Government of Australia was pressured to forfeit its ‘seabed rights’ in the name of ‘equitable principles’ and ‘social justice’, regardless of the fact that geographical reality and the ‘special circumstances of the case’ that are perceived to apply in this instance were totally disregarded. That said, Australia had apparently nailed itself into the “coffin-shaped” Timor Gap Treaty’s Zone of Co-operation over the continental shelf issue in 1989 and again on 14 March 1997, when it signed in Perth an Agreement with Indonesia relating to certain maritime boundaries. Finally, successive governments were persuaded, even pressured, to accede to demands from Timor-Leste for a larger proportion of Australia’s continental shelf and access to the hydrocarbon reserves contained therein, in agreements during 2002, 2006, 2013 and 2018. (Report has to be downloaded.)

Attorney-General not rethinking spy case
Marnie Banger – AAP – 24 July 2019

Lawyer and witness face charges under spy laws, raising questions of openness and accountability
Professor Clinton Fernandes – ADFA – 2 July 2018
As lawyer Bernard Collaery and his client face criminal charges regarding the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, there are many more questions to be answered in this case.

June 2019

Timor debt ‘could open door to China navy’
Ben Packham – The Australian – 25 June 2019

Whistleblower protections ‘a sham’, says lawyer whose leaks led to ABC raids
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 6 June 2019

Shooting the Messengers
Hamish McDonald – Inside Story – 6 June 2019

The raid on the ABC shows we need a law to protect journalists and their sources
Peter Greste – The Guardian – 6 June 2019
Parliament has passed a slew of national security laws that limit and even criminalise the fundamental work of the press.

The AFP media raids aim to suppress the truth. Without it we head into the heart of darkness
Richard Flanagan – The Guardian – 5 June 2019

Witness K lawyer says raids on media show Australia becoming ‘oppressive democracy’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 5 June 2019

May 2019

ABC missing in action on Witness K and Bernard Collaery persecution
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 30 May 2019

How the Witness K/Collaery case is being delayed into oblivion
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 25 May 2019
Inordinate delays mean justice is being denied.

We prosecute whistleblowers who expose government misconduct
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – 8 May 2019

April 2019

Australia will pay back Timor-Leste’s oil revenue, Jose Ramos-Horta says.
Helen Davidson – The Guardian – 21 April 2019
Former president says he has faith his country’s far richer neighbour will not quarrel over revenue it wrongly received.

Bernard’s Bugbears
Richard Ackland  – Gadfly: The Saturday Paper –  20 April 2019   Here’s a pdf.

All about the oil: a history of Australia’s relationship with Timor-Leste
Kishor Napier-Raman – Crikey – 17 April 2019    Here’s a pdf.
Australia views itself as Timor-Leste’s liberator. But the reality is that Timor-Leste has suffered for decades because of Australia’s pursuit of oil revenue above all else.

Australia accused of ‘siphoning’ millions in Timor-Leste oil revenue
Helen Davidson – The Guardian – 16 April 2019

A Disturbing Book Launch
Report of Launch of Professor Clinton Fernandes’ book “Island Off the Coast of Asia”
Launched by Bernard Collaery at Monte St Angelo, North Sydney 13 April 2019

Kafka in Australia: the trial of Witness K
Susan Connelly – Eureka Street –6 April 2019

March 2019

Former judge says delays in Witness K case an ‘abandonment’ of open and fair justice
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 27 March 2019
Anthony Whealy says the attorney general must explain secrecy and delays in case stemming from Timor-Leste bugging. “If the material is so significant a danger to national security if disclosed, then the result should be that the proceedings are abandoned,”  Judge Whealy said.

How the Witness K/Collaery case is being delayed into oblivion
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 25 March 2019    Here is a pdf.
How the major Australian political manipulation of law and justice, and how we are all being duped.

February 2019

East Timor spy scandal: Jury could hear Collaery, Witness K case
Alexandra Back – The Canberra Times – 28 February, 2019
An account of the secret hearing on 28 February, which signalled another secret hearing in August.

Secret Trials: The illegal bugging of the Timor Leste Cabinet and the extraordinary prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Ernst Willheim – 7 February 2019
Australians reading about secret trials in foreign countries tend to content themselves in the belief that in Australia we have an open court system and an independent judiciary. After all, freedom of speech, the rule of law and an open and independent court system are basic bulwarks of our democracy. Aren’t they? This brief paper challenges that comfortable assumption.

January 2019

Our intelligence agencies are out of control – an edited repost
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations – 17 January 2019

Witness K case: prosecutors dump brief of evidence on last working day of legal year
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 9 January 2019

Australia’s spies fight to keep covert operation in East Timor secret
Lisa Murray and Angus Grigg – Australian Financial Review – 4 January 2019    Pdf here.


December 2018

Suppression orders and lawyers’ arrogance undermine democracy
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 13 December 2018
The resort to suppression orders by our courts undermines faith in the legal system and is used by the legal industry to avoid scrutiny.

November 2018

“Australia’s Watergate” set for trial over East Timor spying claims
Jamie Smyth – Financial Times – 1 November 2018
The trial of a former Australian spy could shed light on allegations that Canberra used its intelligence services to defraud its impoverished neighbour East Timor during talks over gas contracts worth up to $40bn.

The controversial law that will decide the future of the Witness K trial
Madeleine Miller – Crikey – 15 November 2018
The Witness K and Bernard Collaery case could well continue behind closed doors, prompting great concern over their right to a fair trial. But who gets to make the decision?

Government goes all out to hide the trial of K and Collaery from public
Bernard Keane and Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 8 November, 2018
The government is trying dirty tricks in its efforts to prevent the public from knowing about its persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

Witness K lawyers in fight to head off closed court hearing
Paul Karp – The Guardian – 7 November 2018
Lawyer Bernard Collaery and Witness K are being prosecuted for disclosing that Australia spied on East Timor-Leste.

October 2018

Meet the Timor-Leste 12 who could benefit from the Witness K cover-up
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 28 October 2018   Here is a pdf.
Meet them:
Alexander Downer, John Howard, Julia Gillard, Bob Carr, Mark Dreyfus, David Irvine, Nick Warner, Woodside Petroleum, Sarah McNaughton, Christian Porter, George Brandis and Margaret Twomey.

Sharma Chameleon
Tips and Rumours – Crikey – 19 October 2018   Here’s a pdf.

The fight to keep the Witness K case secret
“The initial focus of the government’s case against Witness K and Bernard Collaery – resuming hearings this month – is on the fight to keep its potentially embarrassing proceedings confidential.”
Jonathan PearlmanThe Saturday Paper -13 October 2018   Here is a pdf.

Government sat on Witness K evidence for three years despite advice
Steve Cannane – ABC News –  6 October 2018

Witness K scandal part of a long history of pandering to resource companies
Bernard Keane –  Crikey – 5 October 2019
The Witness K scandal and attempts to cover it up show how there has been bipartisan agreement to let commercial interests dictate Australia’s foreign policy.

September 2018

Senator asks why prosecutors sat on Witness K evidence for three years
Christopher KnausThe Guardian – 20 September 2018

Labor has serious questions to answer about Witness K
Bernard Keane Crikey -19 September 2018

Making Australian politics transparent – and how you can help
Christopher Knaus and Nick Evershed – The Guardian – 17 September 2018
Here are the nine best tools you can use to help us improve the accountability of your elected representatives   Pdf here. 

As Witness K trial opens, there are questions over secrecy
Clinton FernandesThe Conversation -13 September 2018

As Witness K trial opens, questions over how much of Timor-Leste spying case to keep secret from public
Clinton Fernandes – The Conversation -13 September 2018

As politicians frolic, the Witness K scandal unfolds
Bernard KeaneCrikey – 13 September 2018
It is a denial of justice to make defendants wait over 12 months before even preliminary matters are decided.

Witness K scandal: Case makes first appearance in court
Alexandra BackCanberra Times – 12 September 2018

Timor Sea Justice Forum Media Release – 10 September 2018

August 2018

A spying scandal exposes Australia’s immoral behavior toward East Timor
Ramesh Thakur and Richard Butler  –The Washington Post – 11 August 2018
A brief history of the events, mentioning Andrew Wilkie and Malcolm Turnbull   Here is a pdf.

July 2018

The shaky case for prosecuting Witness K and his lawyer in the Timor-Leste spying scandal
John Braithwaite – The Conversation – 24 July 2018
Current focus on government hypocrisy has neglected the accountability of the director of public prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton.

Australia urged to drop Witness K prosecution due to ‘chilling effect’ on democracy
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 24 July 2018
Spy and his lawyer should not be prosecuted for exposing ‘wrongful practices by the government’, advocates say.

Plot thickens in East Timor Espionage Scandal
John Menadue – Independent Australia – 12 July 2020

Kangaroos and Crocodies: The Timor Sea Treaty of 2018
David Dixon – 11 July 2018

The dark politics of the Timor spy case
Mike Seccombe – The Saturday Paper – 7 July 2018

Federal prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer is a disgraceful act of revenge
David Dixon – Sydney Morning Herald – 1 July 2018
“Their real offence was not breaching secrecy, but embarrassing Australia and encouraging East Timor to push for the treaty on maritime boundaries which was signed earlier this year.”

Article includes: No doubt fearing that action against Witness K and Collaery would jeopardise the treaty, the Australian government waited until it was signed, then sought revenge. It did so just as the Parliament passed the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill, which includes “economic relations with another country” within its expansive definition of national security, further restricting public access to information.  Pdf here.

June 2018

Collaery prosecution targets ABC but strangely misses News Corp
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 29 June, 2018
ABC journalists are mentioned regarding the charges, but not a NewsCorp journalist, who also interviewed Collaery. Why would that be?

Lawyer and witness face charges under spy laws raising questions of openness and accountability
Clinton Fernandes – The Conversation – 29 June 2018

Top lawyers jump to the defence of former Australian spy Witness K
Nick O’Malley – Sydney Morning Herald – 29 June 2018


Espionage against East Timor and the need for Parliamentary oversight
This article discusses allegations of espionage against the government of East Timor and analyses the weakness of
legislative oversight of Australia’s intelligence agencies. If suggests a means of rectifying this weakness.
Clinton Fernandes – Alternative Law Journal – 2017  PDF.

December 2017

Keane: no politician has the spine to stand up to Australia’s intelligence state
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 21 December 2017
“For anyone foolish enough to seek employment within the dark recesses of the Australian security state, it is important to know that if ASIS undertakes an illegal, immoral activity that has a result of benefiting a corporation for which key officials will go on to work, they need to stay silent. Do not go to the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security. Do not approach a lawyer. Do not seek to defend your basic rights. Above all, do not tell the truth. Maintain the darkness within which this bureaucratic banality — and perhaps venality — of evil thrives.”


February 2016

East Timor bugging scandal: Julie Bishop rejects former spy’s bid to have passport returned
Steve Cannane – ABC News -2 February 2016
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has intervened in an application by a former senior intelligence agent to have his passport returned, rejecting his application on the grounds he is a threat to national security.  Pdf here.


November 2015

Top lawyer says Australia has criminal case to answer over East Timor spying scandal
Steve Cannane – Lateline ABC – 26 November 2015
One of Australia’s most senior lawyers believes there is a criminal case to answer over an Australian spying operation in East Timor and that senior intelligence officers, even a former cabinet minister, could face prosecution. Pdf here.

“Matter of death and life”: Espionage in East Timor and Australia’s diplomatic bungle
Steve Cannane, Sashka Koloff and Brigid Andersen – ABC News – 26 November 2015

June 2015

National security, legal professional privilege, and the Bar Rules
Bernard Collaery – Address at the Australian National University –  11 June 2015

Australia to return East Timor documents ASIO seized during raid
Sam Everingham  – ABC News – 4 May 2015


August 2014

Government wants East Timor spy charged
Tom Allard – The Sydney Morning Herald – 31 August 2014

March 2014

International Court of Justice  – Press Release – 3 March 2014
The Court finds that Australia shall ensure that the content of the seized material is not used to the disadvantage of Timor-Leste

February 2014

Intelligence watchdog Vivienne Thom to testify at East Timor hearings
Philip Dorling  – The Sydney Morning Herald – 3 February 2014
Australia’s chief intelligence watchdog has been drawn into a legal battle over government claims that Australia’s relations with Indonesia are too fragile to allow the release of secret archives about military operations and war crimes in East Timor.

Letter from Timor Leste
Alexander Downer, Adelaide Review –February 2014
Downer comments on the “unreliability” of the Timorese and feels sad after all he did for them.

January 2014

Would East Timor documents upset Indonesia?
Thea Cowie – SBS – 31 January 2014
The Department of Foreign Affairs documents are believed to contain some information about a major Indonesian military offensive in the early 1980s which reportedly ended in the massacre of several hundred East Timorese civilians.

Brandis moves to protect what Australia knew of Indonesian war crimes
Philip Dorling – The Sydney Morning Herald – 28 January 2014
Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has moved to block the release of secret archives that would reveal the Australian government’s knowledge of Indonesian war crimes in East Timor.

Timor-Leste rejects ‘outrageous’ claim in Australian spying dispute
Daniel Hurst – The Guardian –
23 January 2014

With friends like these …
Tom Allard – The Sydney Morning Herald – 25 January 2014
Amid claims of bullying and spying, an international court must decide if Australia has acted fairly in its dealings with East Timor, writes Tom Allard.

E Timor “put spies’ lives at risk”
Paul Cleary – The Australian ­– 24 January 2014

Timor pours oil on spy fire
Paul Cleary – The Australian – 24 January 2014

ASIO raids: Australia concedes bid to block former spy from giving evidence in East Timor case
Tom Allard – Sydney Morning Herald
 23 January 2014

ASIO Took It – But Was It Timor’s or Australia’s
Eric Ellis – Global Mail – 22 January 2014

Ghosts and Memory Sticks
Eric Ellis – Global Mail – 22 January 2014

East Timor’s Case in the ICJ: Will the Court Decide Whether Spying
Violates International Law?
Ashley Deeks – Lawfare – 22 January 2014

Seized East Timor documents could harm Australian security-lawyer
Thomas Escritt – Reuters – 22 January 2014  Pdf here.

East Timor calls on The Hague to condemn ASIO raids
Tom Allard – The Sydney Morning Herald – 21 January 2014
George Brandis vows not to read documents ASIO seized

How Canberra and Woodside `bugged’ Timor PM to strip fledgling nation of oil billions
Paul Cleary –The Australian – 6 January 2014
When Australian workmen turned up with an enormous crane to renovate and reinforce the office of the East Timor prime minister in early 2004,they looked like Paul Hogan in his bridge – painting days as they donned “stubby” shorts and ragged shirts with sleeves cut off.

George Brandis’ security clean-up leaves out messy questions
Richard Ackland – The Sydney Morning Herald– 3 January 2014
Court Hears East Timor Case Against ASIO Swoop


December 2013

Australia accused of playing dirty in battle with East Timor over oil and gas reserves
Tom Allard – The Sydney Morning Herald – 28 December 2013
Spies undercover as aid workers ….Spies raiding spies ….The Timor Sea’s rich oil and gas deposits are at the heart of the latest espionage saga.

East Timor Takes Australia to ICJ over Documents Seized by Australian Intelligence
Matthew Happold – EJIL:Talk! Blog of the European Journal of Internatioanl Law – 13 December 2013
Find pdf here.

World Court  to shine light on E.Timor-Australia row
Australian Associated Press
 – 18 December 2014
“It’s simple: we’re asking for our documents back. Australia has unlawfully taken documents that are rightfully the property of Timor-Leste,” government spokesman Agio Pereira told AFP ahead of Monday’s hearing.

Aid used as front for spying: East Timor
Leo Shanahan – The Australian – 11 December 2013

East Timor claims it knows which Australian spies bugged its offices
Tom Allard – The Sydney Morning Herald – 9 December 2013

East Timorese stone Australian embassy
The Age – 6 December 2013

Stoush over alleged Australian spying on East Timor has a long history
Donald K. Anton – The Sydney Morning Herald – 6 December 2013

What really happened in the Timor deal
Editorial – The Age -5 December 2013

Lest Timor forget, we have our national interests too
The Australian –
5 December 2013
Classic NewsCorp whinge.

The 40-year battle over Timor’s oil
Paul Cleary – The Australian –  4 December 2013   Here’s a pdf.

East Timor spying scandal: Tony Abbott defends ASIO raids on lawyer Bernard Collaery’s offices
ABC News – 4 December 2013

Dealing fairly with East Timor is not charity, but justice
Clinton Fernandes – The Guardian – 4 December 2013
The detention of a retired Secret Intelligence Service agent and the raid of a lawyer’s office in Canberra should prompt questions about how Australia has chosen to negotiate with East Timor.  Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery’s Reply to comments by Senator the Hon George Brandis in the Senate
Here is a pdf of this comment.

ASIO raids lawyer on eve of Hague spying case
National Affairs Editor – The Sydney Morning Herald – 4 December 2013

ASIO raids office of lawyer Bernard Collaery over East Timor spy claim
Tom Allard –The Sydney Morning Herald – 3 December 2013

November 2013

Timor-Leste spying claims: Australia has a history of bugging its neighbour
Paul Daley – The Guardian – 29 November 2013

May 2013

Aussie spies accused of bugging Timor cabinet
Leo Shanahan – The Australian – 29 May 2013   (Pdf)

Press Release
Bob Carr and Mark Dreyfus – La’o Hamutuk – 3 May 2013
The press release announcing the withdrawal of the government of Timor-Leste from the CMATS Treaty because of allegations of Australian spying is not on the Australian Government website, so the copy on La’o Hamutuk is provided here.


April 2009

No peace without justice in East Timor
Lindsay Murdoch – The Age – 4 April 2009
An account of the Liquiça Massacre – ten years on.   Here’s a pdf.


October 2005

Defence accused of attempting to stop critical book
Nick McKenzie – ABC AM – 13 October 2005
Concerning the government’s efforts to stop the publicationof Professor Clinton Fernandes’ book “Reluctant Saviour”.


April 2004

Timor looking for ‘sympathy’ over oil: Downer
Sydney Morning Herald – 25 April 2004   Find pdf here.
Mr Downer said Australia had been incredibly generous to East Timor.

November 2002
Downer: Pompous Colonial Git  (Pdf)

  1. Timor Sea Treaty Ministerial Meeting
    Wednesday, 27 November 2002, 11:00 a.m.
    Council Of Ministers Meeting Room, Dili, Timor-Leste
    DATE: March 6, 2003
    TITLE: Doorstop, Parliament House
    TOPICS: Timor Sea Projects


September 1999

 Laurie Brereton’s speech in Parliament responding to the words of Alexander Downer, the Foreign Minister. (Pdf)   21 September 1999

“What awfully chosen words for the Minister for Foreign Affairs to finish his speech with today: to his dying day, much as he regrets the deaths in East Timor, he will be proud of what he has achieved. I could not think of a more inappropriate thing to say.”