Rex Patrick on Timor spying: Albanese government’s first secret trial after only 67 days – Michael West

Rex Patrick on Timor spying: Albanese government’s first secret trial after only 67 days – Michael West

If you thought the Attorney-General dropping charges against Bernard Collaery was a sign that secret trials in Australian courts and tribunals were a thing of the past, you would be wrong.

Today, in Melbourne, a secret hearing is taking place where the government is trying to prevent the public disclosure of 22-year-old cabinet documents relating to the Howard government’s plans to defraud the newly independent and impoverished nation of Timor-Leste of their oil and gas resources.

January 1 is the biggest day of the year for the National Archives. It’s the day they unveil cabinet papers from 20 years prior. Last year, among the documents named but not released was a year 2000 cabinet submission entitled “Timor Gap Negotiations”.

I put in a request to get access to it. The Archives is an organisation charged with safely storing and making available significant historical government documents. But their response was one of ‘‘sorry, no access’’.

Rex Patrick on Timor spying: Albanese government’s first secret trial after only 67 days – Michael West

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