Prosecutions 2020


Media Coverage

January 2020

Australia’s spies fight to keep covert operation in East Timor secret
Lisa Murray and Angus Grigg – Australian Financial Review – 4 January 2019    Pdf here.

The public has a right to know – an interview with Witness J
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 8 January 2020

Australia: National Security Laws Chill Free Speech
Human Rights Watch – 14 January 2020
Australia’s sweeping national security laws and police actions against journalists and whistleblowers are having a chilling effect on freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2020.

Timor-Leste failed budget sparks political crisis
Michael Leach – Lowy Institute ~ The Interpreter – 20 January 2020

February 2020

In conversation with Bernard Collaery
ANU/The Canberra Times “Meet the Author” series

Assange, Collaery, Snowden, Smethurst: criminalising truth
Alison Broinowski – Independent Australia – 9 February, 2020

Assange must be freed, not betrayed
John Pilger, RT Question More, 22 February, 2020

Whistleblower lawyer represents whistleblower in Australia
Rod McGurk – Associated Press – 14 February 2020

Bernard Collaery Speech
150 Psalms Project –Adelaide Festival – 29 February 2020

Intelligence Branch
Sam Vincent – The Monthly – February 2020   Here’s a pdf.

March 2020

Bernard Collaery in Conversation with Linda Jaivin
Adelaide Writers’ Festival – 1 March 2020

National security watchdog to probe case of Witness J, who was tried, sentenced and jailed in total secrecy
Matthew Doran and Andrew Probyn – ABC News – 2 March 2020
“…there has been an apparently unique set of circumstances in modern Australia where a person was charged, arraigned, pleaded guilty, sentenced and served his sentence with minimal public knowledge of the details of the crime, as a result of consent orders which were not the subject of published judicial reasons.”

Were our spies compromised by Balibó? New book reveals more sordid history.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 03 March 2020

New East Timor book from Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery
Paula Kruger ABC Radio – 3 March 2020

Australia knew of dangers facing murdered Balibo Five journalists, book says
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 04 March 2020

Murdered Journalists “a Hurdle” in Concealing TL Invasion, book says
Robert Baird – Tatoli  – 6 March 2020

Book extract – How Australia denied its close neighbour a fair go
Bernard Collaery – The Canberra Times – 7 March 2020
Read pdf here

The “Witness J” case – we need to know more
Michael Pelly – Australian Financial Review – 7 March 2020
Former intelligence officer ‘Witness J’ served time in jail after a secret trial. This article refers to Witness K and Bernard Collaery, with comments by eminent judges and lawyers.  A similar pdf here.

Andrew Wilkie in Conversation with Bernard Collaery
10 March 2020

Hidden Bugs and Helium: Bernard Collaery on our troubled history with East Timor
Phillip Adams – Late Night Live – 12 March 2020   Audio

Why this barrister is facing conspiracy charges
Jerome Doraisamy – Lawyers Weekly – 12 March 2020

Bernard Collaery on Spying and Subterfuge in Australia’s history with Timor-Leste
3RRR Melbourne – The Grapevine  – 16 March 2020    Audio 25 minutes

Oil Under Troubled Water
Annie Hastwell – The Wire – 18 March 2020

Bernard Collaery’s bombshell
Hamish McDonald – Inside Story – 19 March 2020   See pdf here

Coronavirus concern could delay Bernard Collaery case
Blake Fodden – The Canberra Times – 19 March 2020

Not yet possible to say coronavirus would preclude fair Bernard Collaery hearing: judge
Blake Fodden ­- The Canberra Times – 20 March 2020

Transcript of Bernard Collaery Interview
Annie McLoughlin – 28 March 2020 – 3CR Melbourne

Working from Home
The Canberra Times – 29 March 2020

April 2020

It’s a crime to report a crime: an interview with lawyer Bernard Collaery
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 1 April 2020

The court case Australians are not allowed to know about: how national security is being used to bully citizens
Richard Ackland – The Guardian – 11 April 2020  Pdf.

Bernard Collaery and Steve Bracks
Podcast – 15 April 2020 – Melbourne University Press

High Court throws out AFP warrant against News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst
Elizabeth Byrne and Matthew Doran – ABC – 15 April 2020    Pdf here.
The outcome – so far – of a deeply disturbing event.

Whistleblower lawyer paying a tough price for his bravery
Greg Barns – The Mercury – 20 April 2020

May 2020

Dutton’s ASIO bill goes Kafkaesque
Justin Glyn – Eureka Street – 18 May 2020   Pdf here.

“Sad times”: Bernard Collaery laments “now fragile democracy” as pre-trial hearing held in secret
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 25 May 2020

How National Security powers are being used to prosecute whistleblowers
Kieran Adair – XenophonDavis – 25 May 2020    Here’s a pdf

Closed trial seeks to ‘conceal govt wrongdoing’ against Timor Leste
Green Left Weekly – Susan Connelly interviewed by Paul Oboohov – 25 May 2020  Transcript pdf.

‘Stars’ come out for Collaery
Crikey – Charlie Lewis – 28 May 2020

Twitter thread about photos of Gareth Evans etc at hearing
28 May 2020

Good People Break Bad Laws
Paul Gregoire – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 29 May 2020  Pdf.

No News is Bad News
Paddy Manning – The Monthly – 29 May 2020

‘I am unable to say much’: anger simmers as Timor bugging hearing goes ahead in secret
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 May 2020

Secrecy, sure, but they have erased me
Witness J (not “K”) –The Canberra Times – 30 May 2020   Here is a pdf.

Ernst Willheim – Letter in Canberra Times – 30 May 2020

June 2020

How a national security law is leading to secret trials in Australia
The Full Story  – Laura Murphy-Oates interviews Christopher Knause – 01 June 2020
Audio 26 minutes. First 15 min concern Witness K and Bernard Collaery, followed by discussion of the secret trial of “Witness J”.

The extraordinary cost so far of the prosecutions of Bernard Collaery and Witness K  Senate, 3 June 2020 (pdf)

Let’s reclaim our freedom and decriminalise journalism
Marcus Strom – The Sydney Morning Herald – 04 June 2020  Here’s a pdf.

Exclusive interview with former ACT attorney-general lawyer Bernard Collaery who’s at the centre of a secret trial the media can’t cover

ABC Media Watch – 15 June 2020

Bernard Collaery speaking at Search Foundation/New Internationalist Bookshop Event
11 June 2020 – just over an hour.  Here’s a pdf

Alicia Payne MP  – House Hansard – 12 June 2020  Click here for pdf.

Senator Nick McKim – Senate Hansard – 15 June 2020   Pdf.

Paul Barry – Media Watch – 15 June 2020   Click here for Transcript
Click here for the questions addressed to the Attorney-General and his response.

Why is Bernard Collaery’s trial a secret?
Steve Bracks – The Australian – 15 June 2020  Here’s a pdf.

Stop the sleaze, please
Paddy Manning – The Monthly – 16 June 2020   Pdf.

Mark Humphries looks at the secret trials of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
ABC 7:30 – A bit of a laugh.

Christian Porter and a secret trial have destroyed my practice, Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery says
Adam Harvey – ABC 7:30 – 16 June 2020   Here’s a transcript.

Espionage and Open Democracy
Editorial – The Australian – 16 June 2020     Here’s a pdf.

Graham Perrett MP – House Hansard – 17 June 2020  Pdf.

Is the tide starting to turn on the government’s Bernard Collaery prosecution?
Crikey –  Tips and Rumours – 18 June 2020

…. the vexatious pursuit of Bernard Collaery
Charlie Lewis – Crikey – 18 June 2020
One of the worst aspects of Attorney-General Christian Porter’s vexatious pursuit of Bernard Collaery and Witness K is the federal Labor Party’s near-complete silence.

The secret trial that could turn pear-shaped for the government
Andrew Clark – The Australian Financial Review – 20 June 2020
“As Professor Fernandes puts it: ‘The difference between the core fact of espionage and the ancillary fact of Collaery revealing and Witness K disclosing that information [means] it’s absurd that they might be convicted on the basis of the ancillary facts being true while the prosecution refuses to admit the core facts are true’.”  Here is a pdf.

Can trials be held in secret, like the one against Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery?
Elizabeth Byrne – ABC News – 21 June 2020

Australia: Secret State?
Features Bernard Collaery, Clinton Fernandes, Nick Xenophon, Dennis Richardson, Jacinta Carroll Annika Smethurst.
QandA – ABC TV – 22 June 2020     Here is a pdf.

Secret Trials Down Under: Witness J, Witness K And Bernard Collaery
Binoy Kampmark, Scoop News NZ  – 22 June 2020   Find pdf here.

Media Release by Mark Dreyfus QC, MP
Mr Dreyfus states that Labor will seek an urgent briefing from the Government regarding the decision of the ACT Supreme Court to hold parts of Bernard
Collaery’s trial in closed court.

Sub-Imperial State: Australian Dirty Work
Clinton Fernandes – Arena Quarterly – 23 June 2020   Here is a pdf.
This article discusses Bernard Collaery’s book, and Brian Toohey’s book “Secret: The Making of Australia’s Security State”.
Both authors investigate security concerns, agreeing that it is a concept which gives priority to economic interests and requires a political order which places greatest value on those interests.

Australia likened to North Korea in its secret trial of Bernard Collaery
Luke Henrique-Gomes – The Guardian – 23 June 2020

The most oppressive of the western democracies
Alison Broinowski – Pearls and Irritations – 23 June 2020

Court rules key parts of Bernard Collaery trial to be held in secret
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 26 June 2020

Coalition spends $2m on prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K, even before trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 26 June 2020   Pdf here.

Part of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery’s trial will be heard in secret, judge rules
Elizabeth Byrne and  Matthew Doran  – ABC News – 27 June 2020

Wasteful, Secret and Vicious: The Absurd Prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Binoy Kampmark – Scoop – 27 June 2020

Lawyer Secretly Prosecuted for Exposing Crimes of Australian Government
Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim – Sydney Criminal Lawyers – 27 June 2020

Prosecution Matter
Media Release – Attorney-General – 28 June 2020   Pdf here.

Porter’s Collaery cover-up gets legal blessing, but is Labor starting to do its job?
As the government scores a win in its shameful secret prosecution of Bernard Collaery, it seems like Labor is finally starting to wake up.
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 29 June 2020    Pdf here.

High profile whistle-blower trial to be kept out of the public eye
Norman Swan interviews Steve Bracks – RN Breakfast – 29 June 2020  Audio 9 minutes

July 2020

Why Bernard Collaery’s case is one of the gravest threats to freedom of expression
Spencer Zifcak –The Conversation – 3 July 2020

Timor-Leste: court upholds Australian government refusal to release documents on Indonesia’s invasion
Helen Davidson and Christopher Knause – The Guardian – 04 July 2020

The secrecy in the Witness K case is an attempt by the government to avoid scrutiny
Luke Gosling – The Guardian – 06 July 2020

Crossbench pushes for inquiry into prosecution of Witness K and lawyer
Labor seeks briefing from Christian Porter – who accuses party of saying one thing in public and another in private
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 08 July 2020   See pdf here.

Liberty Victoria honours Bernard Collaery and Witness J with the Empty Chair Human Rights Award
Press Release – Liberty Victoria – 09 July 2020

Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery to appeal against secrecy in Timor-Leste bugging trial
Christopher Knaus –The Guardian – 10 July 2020

When the government prosecutes whistleblowers, it is sending a message
Ebony Bennett – The Canberra Times – 11 July 2020   Pdf here.

Stronger checks needed for boosted spying powers
Editorial – Sydney Morning Herald – 12 July 2020   Pdf here.

Witness K and the Australian spying operation that continues to betray Timor-Leste
Kim McGrath – The Guardian – 12 July 2020    Pdf here.
Charges against Bernard Collaery and his retired ASIS agent client confirm the government has few regrets about an exploitative exercise against a friendly neighbour

Secret trials: our judges need to resist the government’s pressure
Ian Cunliffe – Sydney Morning Herald – 23 July 2020   Pdf here.

Knock on Woodside
Richard Ackland – The Saturday Paper – 25-31 July 2020   Pdf here.

Australia’s dirty secret and the trial too sensitive for an open court
John Hewson – The Sydney Morning Herald – 26 July 2020   Pdf here.

Threats to Australian democracy are closer to home than China
David Neal – Brisbane Times – 27 July 2020

Secret trials threaten open justice in Australia
Kevin Rennie – Global Voices – 30 July 2020
Whistleblowers, lawyers and journalists face prosecutions without proper public scrutiny   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery: ACT Supreme Court reveals fresh details surrounding ‘secret’ spy trial
Craig Dunlop – Canberra Star/ Daily Telegraph – 30 July 2020     Pdf here.

Why Bernard Collaery’s case is one of the gravest threats to freedom of expression
Spencer Zifcak – Law Society Journal – 31 July 2020   Pdf here.

August 2020

Canberrans stand in support of whistleblowers
Cassandra Power – Canberra Weekly  – 6 August 2020

Australian government spends almost $3m waging ‘war’ on whistleblowers in court
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 7 August 2020  
Whistleblowers should be treated as heroes, not as criminals, independent senator Rex Patrick says. Read pdf here.

Bernard Collaery: A warrior for democracy
Veteran lawyer at the centre of the sensational Witness K trial over allegations Australia bugged East Timor’s government tells of his fight against the creep of 9/11-era national security laws.
Tom McIlroy – Australian Financial Review – 7 August 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Ian Cunliffe  – Hey True Blue, is this who we are in 2020?

Bernard Collaery trial is a highly unusual criminal prosecution
After nine months of hearings, seven judgments, and government spending of $2 million, we still know too little about the prosecutions of Bernard Collaery and Witness K.
Ian Cunliffe – Australian Financial Review – 14 August 2020    Read pdf here.

Witness K is in the dock but institutions vital to Australia’s democracy are on trial
Ian Cunliffe – The Guardian – 17 August 2020   Pdf here.

East Timor bugging scandal: Attorney General’s push for secret trial diminishes us as a nation
Ian Cunliffe- Michael West Media – Aug 19, 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Click here for comment by David Odling-Smee on Bernard Collaery’s book Oil Under Troubled Water

“It should never have happened”: Albanese speaks out on Witness K
The Leader of the Opposition, speaks out on the spying and the prosecutions.
Charlie Lewis – Crikey – 21 August 2020    Pdf here.

Attorney General Christian Porter breaches law over three years, claims it was a mistake
Kieran Adair – Michael West Media – 21 August 2020   Find pdf here.

Bernard Collaery, East Timor and Governmental Duplicity
George Browning – Pearls and Irritations – 21 August 2020 Find pdf here.
The extent of the outrage and the reason the government is desperate to keep hidden its unlawful behaviour through the prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Witness K has now had a little further light shone upon it.

Judicial independence: the Nazi or the Australian way?
Ian Cunliffe – John Menadue’s “Pearls and Irritations” – 25 August 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Australia’s attorney general Christian Porter accused of abusing powers in whistleblower trial
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian –26 August 2020
The federal government faces accusations of invoking the National Security Information Act to interfere in case against barrister Bernard Collaery. During Senate question time, the government was asked why Christian Porter asked to have “first access” to documents held by Woodside Petroleum before they were provided to Bernard Collaery. (See Senate text below the pdf article)

Authoritarianism in Australia: right-wing politics in the antipodes
Pam Stavropoulos – DiEM25 – 28 August 2020

Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 29 September 2020
By his response last week to the Federal Court’s finding that Immigration Minister Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by detaining an asylum-seeker for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General. Pdf here.

We need a standing Royal Commission to supervise our intelligence agencies
John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations– 31 August 2020

September 2020

Bernard Collaery trial: Jury may have to reach verdicts without seeing all the evidence
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 2 September 2020   Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery trial: Jury may have to reach verdicts without seeing all the evidence
Blake Foden – The Canberra Times – 2 September 2020   Pdf here.

Woodside pockets millions from government to clean up its own mess
Georgia Wilkins and Bernard Keane – Crikey – 03 September 2020
Woodside Energy being paid to take care of its own mess is certainly eyebrow raising, but it’s simply a small part of the long and questionable relationship between the company and the Australian government.  Here is a pdf.

The government’s lack of transparency can’t go unchecked
Ebony Bennett – The Canberra Times – 5 September 2020
The Coalition government is handing police and intelligence agencies more and more powers and subjecting them to less and less scrutiny. We should all be alert and alarmed.   See here for pdf.

The atrocious foreign interference law – It doesn’t add up
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations  –7 September 2020  Here’s a pdf.

An appeal to the Australian legal fraternity – Lawyers4Collaery
Geoff Etches – Pearls and Irritations – 7 September 2020

Coalition’s push for secret trials: behaviour of a tin-pot dictatorship
Ian Cunliffe – Michael West Media – 7 September 2020
Claims that the release of information poses a risk to national security can be used to avoid legitimate scrutiny of conduct. If ever there were reasons to suspect a cover-up by this government, the Bernard Collaery and Witness K court cases are prime examples.  Pdf here.

China’s leader takes a turn for the particularly stupid… and ours is no better
Michael Pascoe – The New Daily –  9 September 2020
It’s a dark time for journalism on any number of fronts, a dark time for trust in institutions, for promoting an informed polity.  Pdf only.

Safe Space for Spying: What remains unsaid by the Signals Directorate
Clinton Fernandes – Arena – 10 September 2020   Read pdf here.

We need a standing Royal Commission to supervise our intelligence agencies
 John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations -13 September 2020   Pdf here.

The closed-door contracts flourishing in these COVID times
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – 21 September 2020
Increasingly, government contracts appear to be flying out the door with limited checks and balances.  Pdf here.
(Click here for article on Woodside referred to in the article above.)

The slippery slope to spying on our own people
Robert Macklin – City News – 24 September 2020
“It was a redirection of the government’s spyforce to our own people. It was one giant leap towards the kind of governments they have in Russia and China. To put it as mildly as I can, it was an outrage,” writes “The Gadfly” columnist Robert Macklin. Here is a pdf.

Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 29 September 2020
By his response lastweek to the Federal Court’s finding that Immigration Minister Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by detaining an asylum-seeker for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), Christian Porter has shown himself unfit to be federal Attorney–General.   See pdf here.

Australian government cites ‘chilling effect’ on cabinet in bid to block release of papers
in Timor-Leste spy case
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 30 September 2020
Attorney general’s lawyers say they should not have to provide the documents, including briefing for prime minister, because it is not in public interest.  See pdf here.

October 2020

Timor-Leste’s gas dreams fade
Hamish McDonald – The Saturday Paper – 3-9 October 2020
Timor-Leste’s plans for developing its oil and gas industry, made possible after winning back control of offshore fields from Australia, have stalled as the coronavirus pandemic drives down prices and the country’s new leadership questions the scheme’s economic rationale. Read this as pdf.

Witness K and Bernard Collaery: An Unjust Prosecution Gets Even Worse
Spencer Zifcak – Pearls and Irritations – 12 October 2020
The prosecution of former ACT Attorney-General, Bernard Collaery, and his client, Witness K, continues to play itself out before the ACT Supreme Court. This is a legal fiasco of the first order. The prosecution should never have commenced. Pdf.

Secrecy in trial of Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery an offence against open justice
Peak law body says secrecy laws invoked in Timor-Leste bugging case come at ‘expense of the rights of the accused’
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 16 October 2020   Pdf.

Law Council President, Pauline Wright, support to Bernard Collaery
Media Statement – Pauline Wright – 16 October 2020  Pdf here.

Balibo forty-five years on – and it still stinks of cover-up and collusion
Today marks 45 years since five Australian journalists were murdered in East Timor. Yet questions about who knew what and when still remain.
Clinton Fernandes – Crikey – 16 October 2020   Pdf here.

Too many lies and cover-ups
Ian Melrose – The Canberra Times – 16 October 2020  (Pdf.)

Forty-five years on, secrets of the Balibo atrocity haunt Australia
Susan Connelly – Sydney Morning Herald – 16 October 2020   Find pdf here.

‘Chilling attack on democracy’: proposed Asio powers could be used against journalists
Daniel Hurst – The Guardian – 20 October 2020

Two High Court of Australia judges will be named soon – unlike Amy Coney Barrett, we know nothing about them
Joe McIntyre – The Conversation – 20 October 2020.  Find pdf here.

Rex Patrick takes aim at Alexander Downer over foreign consultant job
Shannon Jenkins – The Mandarin – 22 October 2020.  Pdf here.

Bernard Collaery and Witness K trial costs revealed in budget estimates   (Pdf)
Katie Burgess – The Canberra Times – 22 October 2020
The Coalition government has spent more than $3 million prosecuting Bernard Collaery and Witness K, as officials reject claims the lawyer and whistleblower have been subjected to a secret trial. Here is a pdf.

Dan Oakes, Witness K and Bernard Collaery
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations – 23 October 2020
Dear Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, please demonstrate that the decisions whether or not to prosecute, and the decisions to continue the prosecutions of Collaery and K, are not influenced by possible political advantage, disadvantage or embarrassment to the Government.  Please apply the Prosecution Policy to the facts in front of you, uninfluenced by what Porter and the Government so obviously want.  Do your lawful duty!  Drop the prosecutions!   (Find pdf here.)

The Witness K Case: when prosecution becomes persecution
Warren Reed – Online Opinion – 28 October 2020   Pdf.

November 2020

A Clayton’s Integrity Commission?
Ian Cunliffe – Pearls and Irritations –  4 November 2020   Here’s a pdf.

Woodside leaves oil rig for taxpayers to clean up; is Exxon next in the Bass Strait?
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 4 November 2020
Taxpayers are on the hook for the $200 million-plus clean-up of an ageing oil production platform moored in the Timor Sea partly because of a loophole in government regulations    Pdf here

Prosecutors agreed not to press for Witness K custodial sentence, barrister says
Cassandra Morgan – The Canberra Times – 9 November 2020
Lawyers for the ex-spy Witness K say he agreed to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge on grounds prosecutors wouldn’t press for him to be jailed. Barrister Robert Richter QC represented Witness K via audio-visual link in the ACT Magistrates Courts on Monday. The ex-spy has indicated he will admit to conspiring to breach s39 of the Intelligence Services Act, which makes punishable the revealing of information of any kind about the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. But Mr Richter said Witness K did so in the context of an agreement with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
Here is a pdf of the article

Nationwide protests against secret trial of Bernard Collaery and Witness K
Jim McIlroy and Alex Salmon – Green Left Weekly – 9 November 2020   Pdf here.

View from The Hill: When Australia’s first law officer is in the dock of public opinion
Michelle Grattan- The Conversation – 10 November 2020  See here for pdf.

The minister in charge of integrity has just lost a lot of integrity.
Georgia Wilkins – Crikey – 10 November 2020
Christian Porter was pushing his toothless anti-corruption watchdog even as his behaviour was being investigated by the media.

Spying on Timor: Government, not whistleblowers should be on trial
Erwin Chlanda – Alice Springs News –  11 November 2020   Pdf here.

Activists petition Federal government over persecuting whistleblowers
The Byron Shire Echo – 11 November 2020 – page 9
Gareth Smith and companions sent over 4,000 petition signatures to the Attorney-General.  Pdf.

Porter’s secret state: how the attorney-general leads the government’s war against accountability
Georgia Wilkins and David Hardaker – Crikey Newsletter – 12 November 2020
As attorney-general, Porter has pursued secrecy in all its forms. Crikey runs through some of the lowlights.  Pdf here.

While Porter parties, his protection racket inflicts misery
Bernard Keane – Crikey – 12 November 2020
As Alan Tudge tried to protect Christian Porter from embarrassment, so Porter is trying to protect Alexander Downer from scrutiny over his role in the bugging of Timor-Leste.  Here’s a pdf.

Private becomes public for politicians in a changed world
Josh Bornstein – The Age – 16 November 2020
Differing views on the Four Corners revelations. Probable revenge against the ABC. Pdf.

It’s no surprise that Morrison’s federal anti- corruption body is weak
Paul Gregoire – The Big Smoke – 16 November 2020  Pdf here.

Strong reasons Porter must go
Kathryn Kelly’s letter – Canberra Times – 16 November 2020

If moral courage matters, this whistleblower needs defending
Nick Xenophon – The Sydney Morning Herald – 18 November 2020
As a last resort, David McBride finally “blew the whistle” by going to the media. The ABC published the “Afghan Files” in July 2017, setting out shocking details of war crimes and cover-ups – from material that McBride provided. The “Afghan Files” were a breakthrough revelation for Australians.  See Pdf here.

Australians must ensure pandemic powers aren’t extended beyond crisis, Law Council warns
Daniel Hurst – The Guardian – 18 November 2020
Hotly debated rights ‘are in fact backed by few constitutional or statutory guarantees’.  Pdf here.

Higher authorities
Hamish McDonald – The Inside Story – 20 November 2020
Who is being helped by the continuing pressure on Bernard Collaery and Witness K?   Pdf here.

(This article was also printed in the Canberra Times as “Who is being helped by putting Bernard Collaery on trial?”)

MP calls for Porter explanation on the persecution of K and Collaery
Bernard Keane – ­Crikey – 26 November 2020
A Labor MP with close links to Timor-Leste (Luke Gosling) has called on Christian Porter to explain himself over the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery and suggests ‘reputational protection’ is behind the secrecy of the trial. Pdf.

Citizenship test changes deserve an ‘F’
Kim Rubenstein – The Public Sector Informant – November 2020.

December 2020

Witness K lawyer Bernard Collaery wins international free speech prize
Lawyer earns the UK’s Blueprint for Free Speech whistleblowing prize for his efforts exposing Australia’s spy operation in Timor-Leste
Christopher Knaus – The Guardian – 3 December 2020   Pdf here.

Drop all Charges Against David McBride
Kathryn Kelly – Canberra Times –   8 December 2020  (Tiff).

Politicians and Prosecutions
Susan Connelly – Pearls and Irritations – 16 December 2020
The ongoing prosecutions of Witness K and Bernard Collaery are political.  Pdf here.

The cost of courage: Australia must do more to protect whistleblowers
Kieran Pender –Sydney Morning Herald – 17 December 2020  Find pdf here.

Review of Oil Under Troubled Water
Kieran Pender – Times Literary Supplement – 18 December 2020  Here’s a pdf.

The Pitts: Government gifts Woodside $130 million Christmas present
Callum Foote – Michael West Media – 30 December 2020.   Pdf here.
Read how the Australian taxpayer is footing Woodside’s bills at $130 million.