Doctor and activist

East Timor Bugging Case goes ahead in Secret

31 May 2020

The absurd case of Witness K, who was an intelligence officer who blew the whistle on Australia’s bugging of the East Timorese Cabinet room during the negotiations over the border in the Timor Sea goes on. The bugging is now public knowledge. East Timor took legal action in The Hague against Australia to get the border re-negotiated, and Witness K had his passport seized so that he could not go to the trial and testify.

The deal that Australia got from the talks gave Woodside most of the gas. The re-drawing of it after the world discovered Australia’s actions had it placed far more fairly and East Timor got a better deal.
Now there is a case which amounts to revenge on the whistleblower. What Australia did is well known and it is hard to see how ‘national security’ is threatened. Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Colleary, the former ACT Attorney-General are heroes in East Timor as they are marginalised, vilified and locked up by the government here. Witness K remains in gaol.

The trial goes in in Canberra. Some of us think that it is Australia’s democratic freedoms that are on trial.

Arthur Chesterfield-Evans

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