(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

The wrong person was in the dock being sentenced last week in the ACT Magistrates Court in relation to Australia's 2004 bugging of the Timor-Leste cabinet room.

It is Alexander Downer who should have faced court, along with John Howard and David Irvine, the then-head of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). Ashton Calvert, then-head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has since passed away, but senior officials of that department at that time, as well as Downer's staff, some of whom have gone on to subsequent parliament careers, should also have faced investigation.

For what? Ordering and overseeing a potentially illegal act by ASIS, one intended to benefit fossil fuel giant and political donor Woodside. Both Downer and Calvert went on to take positions with Woodside.