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Law Council of Australia


Witness K/Collaery prosecution

15 November 2018

The Law Council is monitoring the Commonwealth’s case against Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

In June, the Commonwealth filed criminal charges against Witness K and Bernard Collaery under the Intelligence Services Act 2001.

The charges relate to communication of intelligence information concerning the bugging of East Timor’s cabinet rooms by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service in 2004, during negotiations on an oil and gas treaty between the two countries.

The ACT Magistrates’ Court heard submissions on whether the matter should be heard in an open or closed court under the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act 2004.

On Friday 9 November Chief Magistrate Walker issued a decision whereby a national security information hearing under section 21 of the Act must be stayed, pending the issue of a certificate by the Attorney-General. If the Attorney-General issues a certificate, the hearing may commence as a closed hearing.

The Law Council will continue to actively monitor the case.



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