Collaery - Drop the charges NOW!
Written by: Timor Sea Justice Forum on 23 May 2020
Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery is being persecuted by the Australian Government for exposing Australia's scandalous role in defrauding impoverished neighbour Timor-Leste of access to and revenue from its own natural resources.
No less scandalous is its defrauding of the Australian people of revenue from helium, produced as a by-product from petroleum resources under the Timor Sea, and surreptitiously gifted to US fossil fuel monopoly Conoco-Phillips, from whom we buy it back. Perhaps most scandalous is his revelation, with former spook Witness K, of Australia's bugging of East Timorese negotiators during treaty discussions on those resources. In a recently-published book, "Oil under Troubled Water", Collaery describes Australia as a "pariah state that lacked even sufficient skill to benefit its own citizens with the proceeds of its plunder in the Timor Sea" (p. 345).
URGENT MEDIA RELEASE
The latest in the interminable series of hearings is set down for Monday, 25th May 2020 through to 3rd June in the ACT Supreme Court.
This hearing will be closed to the public. A determination will be sought at the hearing for some evidence to be available only to the judge. If that ensues it would mean that the defendant would not have full access to the evidence which will be used against him. It could mean that when the trial occurs, the jury will not be allowed to hear all the evidence.
The lack of public and legal scrutiny in the proposed conduct of this trial subverts internationally accepted standards for a fair trial and the right to prepare a defence.
Australian governments have exposed their people to the international humiliation of performing an act of economic espionage against a small and impoverished neighbour––Timor-Leste. Prosecuting those who acted in good faith in bringing the truth to light is a clear indication to the rest of the world that Australia is content to both swindle the poor and persecute those who act according to their consciences.
Bernard Collaery, as lawyer for “Witness K”, has been charged with alleged breaches of the Criminal Code (Cth) and the Intelligence Services Act. The details of these offences remain cloaked behind assertions of “national security”. However, national security has not been proved to be at stake, it has only been claimed, and it has been claimed by the very body––the Australian Government–– whose deceitful fraud is the cause of the whole debacle.
The prosecution of Bernard Collaery represents the denial of just and accepted legal norms to serve political and commercial agendas. It is further evidence that secret trials are already a feature of the increasingly fragile Australian democracy.
Authorised by Sister Susan Connelly
Timor Sea Justice Forum
0498 473 341
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