For over eighty years, Australia and East Timor have been joined together, mostly in conflict and struggle. The latest conflict is playing out in a secret court case and involves Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery and a former ASIS officer turned whistleblower Witness K. Both have been accused of communicating protected intelligence information after disclosing an Australian bugging operation carried out in the government offices of Timor Leste in 2004. After an ACT Supreme Court ruling, significant parts of the trial against Collaery will be held in secret, which legal experts warn as the "gravest threats to freedom of expression". New Australia Institute research shows that of all the Five Eyes countries, Australia’s oversight of its intelligence communities is the weakest. In this podcast recording from our live webinar series we are privileged to have one of the key figures in Timor Leste’s fight for independence and former Timor Leste President, José Ramos Horta. He was co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, and survived an assassination attempt in 2008. We are also privileged to welcome Bernard Collaery along with Allan Behm, head of the Australia Institute’s International and Security Affairs Program. As this matter is currently before the courts, and Bernard is subject to suppression orders, there are some limitations on the discussion which was recorded live on 2 September as part of the Australia Institute's Economics of a Pandemic Webinar series.
Host: Ebony Bennett, Deputy Director at the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett
Guests: José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Prize Laureate and former President of Timor Leste, Bernard Collaery, Barrister and former Attorney-General of the ACT, Allan Behm, head of the Australia Institute's International and Security Affairs Program // @Mirandaprorsus