Collaery case ruled mostly open

The ACT Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a previous ruling in June that would have allowed the trial against Bernard Collaery to be held entirely in secret.

The court said that a secret trial would risk damage to public confidence in the administration of justice but did allow for some evidence to remain confidential.

You may remember that it was Christian Porter who decided to pursue the case that had been mothballed under A-G Brandis – not very smart if he thought it would protect the Government from the revelations that it bugged the Timor-Leste on behalf of the oil and gas sector.

The case has been going for years now with terrible consequences for Collaery and his client, Witness K, who is in prison for letting the world know Australia cheated on its nearest and poorest neighbour. The prosecution case had already cost $2 million.

Collaery says he will fight all five charges against him and has been petitioning for an open trial. According to the ABC, he told a press pack outside court on Wednesday that national security was always a balance. 

… it has to be true national security, not issues of embarrassment or publicity — that’s the real issue.

I regret we have to go this far to achieve an appropriate balance between open justice, national security and the personal interests of those who become caught in that issue.

Bernard Collaery

You can help by signing the petition to drop the charges.

Photo Canberra Times

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