Witness K told the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague the rotten secret that Australia bugged its poorest neighbour to get the upper hand in negotiations over the wealth of oil and gas beneath the sea that should have been theirs. He was found guilty last week in a secret court, thankfully not given a jail sentence, but his life is in ruins.
He is the scapegoat, made an example so that no other public officer will ever blow the whistle on an act of bastardry such as that done to Timor Leste by the Australian Government.
The slow burn as charges hung over his head for almost two decades was surely a form of torture.
We all know who did the bugging, we all know how Timor was robbed blind, the boundary set so close to Timor that the oil and gas would flow Australia’s way, so the fossil fuel exploiters, principally Woodside, would be handsomely rewarded for their political donation advocacy.
On retirement, Alexander Downer, the bugging mastermind, was paid lucratively for his consultancy for the very company that stood to gain most from that illegal act of spying. He walks free, as arrogant as ever.
One of the Government’s stated benefits of the Maritime Boundary Treaty, signed in 2018 was:
- establishes permanent maritime boundaries between Australia and Timor-Leste in the Timor Sea and a stable legal framework for resource development, providing certainty and stability for businesses and investors