Bernard Collaery Witness K trial
Bernard Collaery. (Image: AAP/Rod Mcguirk)

The efforts by director of public prosecutions Sarah McNaughton and Attorney-General Christian Porter to hide their prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery from public scrutiny have sunk to new lows, with a last-minute attempt by the government to impose a super injunction-style gag on a hearing to determine how claims of national security secrecy should be handled in the trial.

After weeks of negotiations between K and Collaery's legal teams and the Crown over how national security-related issues would be addressed, the DPP sprung a last-minute surprise on Tuesday night, just hours before the matter returned to the ACT Magistrate's Court. The defence teams were informed that a full week before, prosecutors had given a brief as to the existence of national security information to Attorney-General Christian Porter.