(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

Late last week, the former Australian spy known only as Witness K pleaded guilty to conspiring to revealing classified information about an Australian operation to bug Timor-Leste’s cabinet rooms during sensitive oil and gas treaty negotiations in 2004.

Some media coverage continues to refer to that operation as “alleged” -- an unnecessarily cautious term for several reasons.

First, successive Australian governments have acted in a manner consistent with that espionage operation having occurred -- for example, by bringing charges against Witness K and his former lawyer, Bernard Collaery, at a cost of nearly $4 million.