Witness K Bernard Collaery
Witness K's lawyer Bernard Collaery (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

This week Four Corners aired an investigation into the now infamous prosecution of Australian lawyer Bernard Collaery and his former client, an Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) spy known as Witness K. Both men are accused of disclosing information about an ASIS operation against Timor-Leste in 2004. I was interviewed for the program which aired on Monday night.

The program explained, correctly, that Timor-Leste was just emerging from a 24-year genocidal Indonesian operation, was extremely poor and had very few resources at the time of the operation. Just months before Timor-Leste gained independence in 2002, the Australian government withdrew from the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. This withdrawal prevented Timor-Leste from asserting its rights under international law to a maritime boundary halfway between it and Australia.