Bernard Collaery likens his prosecution by Australia to a ‘Moscow show trial’

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Bernard Collaery has likened his prosecution to a “Moscow amusement trial” and said the Coalition pursued him and erstwhile spy Witness K successful an effort to fell the “dirty linen” of its dealings successful Timor-Leste.

In his archetypal code since the lawsuit against him was dropped, Collaery connected Wednesday nighttime gave an excoriating appraisal of the protracted, secretive prosecution that helium said caused immense turmoil for him, his household and friends, and his ineligible team.

“Without the pro bono efforts of the partners and unit of a stellar instrumentality firm, Gilbert & Tobin, and a troupe of superb pro bono barristers, I would not person survived the Coalition’s effort to fell its soiled linen,” Collaery said successful a lecture for the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties connected Wednesday.

“The interest is that portion the Coalition authorities has been defeated astatine the polls, elements that supported mediocre argumentation determination making stay wrong the bureaucracy.”

Collaery, a lawyer, and his client, erstwhile quality serviceman Witness K, were prosecuted for their relation successful exposing a concealed Australian mission to bug the authorities offices of Timor-Leste during 2004 talks to carve up the lucrative lipid and state reserves successful the Timor Sea.

In his address, Collaery said prosecutors should person realised their lawsuit was improbable to succeed, due to the fact that determination was nary lawful ground to nonstop the Australian Secret Intelligence Service to spy connected Timor-Leste’s authorities during the lipid and state negotiations.

“Instead of facing up to this, the prosecution aided the Coalition successful a cruel four-year agelong effort to fell soiled linen and punish Witness K and myself for speaking up for Australian values,” helium said.

Collaery chose to combat the allegations, but the lawsuit was bogged down for years by repeated Coalition interventions to enforce secrecy connected the proceedings utilizing the National Security Information Act (NSI Act).

Collaery said the NSI Act – introduced successful the years aft September 11 to support delicate nationalist information accusation during tribunal proceedings – needed to beryllium reformed.

Collaery said helium was the archetypal to look the “full panoply of oppressive NIS Act provisions”. At times, the laws were utilized to fell grounds from Collaery’s ain ineligible team.

The laws were besides utilized to alteration quality officials to springiness grounds down closed doors to reason the lawsuit for greater secrecy successful Collaery’s prosecution.

Collaery described that arsenic “a chilling reminder of images of the 1936-37 Moscow amusement trials”.

“When the NIS Act is utilized to support lawbreakers from facing judgement and the nationalist from cognition of that activity, thing is incorrect with the regularisation of instrumentality successful Australia,” Collaery said.

Collaery said helium was “enormously grateful” to some the attorney-general, Mark Dreyfus, and besides the overseas minister, Penny Wong, for their efforts to halt his prosecution.

He said immoderate enquiry into the matter should analyse the bonzer measurement of warrants issued arsenic portion of the commonwealth’s pursuit of him and Witness K.

“The warrants monitoring my squad apt intruded into the enactment of members of Parliament, journalists, collegiate members of the ineligible assemblage successful Australia and overseas and different Australian citizens,” helium said.

Collaery described Australia’s actions arsenic a calamity and a shameful section successful determination overseas policy. He said Australia was motivated by a greed for oil, which was shared by overseas corporations.

The erstwhile government’s behaviour had made it much hard for Australia to preach astir a rules-based planetary order, helium said.

“Refusing to admit to oppressive and wrongful planetary behaviour brings america into compact with China’s strategy and further distant from establishing, successful the New Zealand manner, a values-based spot successful our region,” Collaery said. “We should admit to a deplorable erstwhile overseas argumentation attack wrong our region, apologise, and determination on, to bigger things.”