JUSTLY.info is maintained by Susan Connelly. It presents information concerning the history and ongoing concerns of Timor-Leste and West Papua. Aspects of the work of René Girard are also featured.
Of particular concern is the matter of “Witness K” and Bernard Collaery, two outstanding Australian patriots who were pursued by the Australian government and faced jail. This pursuit was an abuse of power, an attempt to scapegoat the defendants in order to cover up government wrong-doing.
In 2004 Australia bugged Timorese government offices where Timor Sea negotiators prepared for their meetings with Australian officials to determine each nation’s share of the Greater Sunrise area of the Timor Sea. The CMATS Treaty (Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea) was signed on the basis of this corrupted process. Once the Timorese government found out that spying had taken place, it withdrew from the Treaty and set in motion the steps necessary for the setting of maritime boundaries.
The Timorese government withdrew the case it had brought to the international court against Australia, and demanded its right to an internationally recognised maritime boundary.
Two months after the new border was signed into law, Witness K and Bernard Collaery were charged with making the spying known to the Government of Timor-Leste.
On 3 May 2013, the then Foreign Minister Bob Carr and his deputy Mark Dreyfus issued a joint press release concerning the accusation of espionage. On 29 May 2013, Leo Shanahan, a NewsCorp journalist, wrote a 1,000-word article in The Australian detailing an interview with Collaery over the spying. Neither Carr, Dreyfus or Shanahan are mentioned in the charges.
Four years passed in which over 70 hearings were held. Witness K pleaded guilty and was given a three-month suspended sentence and a twelve-month good behaviour bond. Bernard Collaery continued to fight the charges, until on 7 July 2022, the new Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus discontinued the prosecution.
The prosecutions of the two Australians came under national security legislation which the government argued was necessary to protect Australian secrets. That legislation has proved to be unworkable, and should be changed.