Stop the secret trial of Collaery and Witness K

Photo: Leo Bild

Protesters gathered outside the ACT Supreme Court on April 1 to protest the secret trial of Bernard Collaery and Witness K.

The protest was organised by the Alliance against Political Prosecutions, a group who oppose all secret trials, including the one whistleblower David McBride is facing.

Supporters wore hoods to symbolise opposition to the charges and the secrecy being used under the guise of "national security" to hide the government’s wrongdoing.

If not for Witness K, and his lawyer, Collaery, the Australian government’s spying on the East Timorese government offices in Dili during negotiations over access to oil and gas resources in 2004 may never have come to light.

It was espionage for the commercial benefit of resource companies and to disadvantage the people of East Timor, the poorest nation in South East Asia.

The trial is being conducted with strict secrecy provisions and frequent closures of the court to the public. It does not meet international standards for a fair trial.

The federal attorney-general has the power to discontinue the prosecutions under Section 71 of the Judiciary Act 1903.