World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Four Corners TV probe lifts lid on oil industrial espionage

EAST TIMOR: Four Corners TV probe lifts lid on oil 'industrial espionage'


www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/pacific-media-watch/east-timor-four-corners-tv-probe-lifts-lid-oil-industrial-espionage-8512


Four Corners investigation into the Timor-Leste allegations
against Australia ... the oil stakes are high. Image: ABC

SYDNEY (ABC Four Corners / Pacific Media Watch): Australia has been accused of trying to gag a key witness with threatened criminal charges for the Timor-Leste case against Canberra over the controversial 2006 oil rights treaty between the two countries.

The allegation is made in a new ABC Four Corners documentary, "Drawing The Line", being screened on television on Monday night.

Late last year the office of Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery was raided by agents from ASIO and the Australian Federal Police, reports the investigative prigramme on its website.

They were looking for documents that linked his client, a former top Australian spy, to disclosures that Australia had bugged East Timor’s Prime Minister and his advisors during crucial treaty talks a decade ago. Those talks resulted in a treaty that carved up billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

Now both the lawyer and former spy are threatened with criminal charges for breaching national security laws.

Four Corners reporter Marian Wilkinson investigates the events leading up to the ASIO raids on Bernard Collaery and the former spy and reveals the growing friction between Dili and Canberra over the row.

'Strong case'
Attorney-General George Brandis defends the head of ASIO, David Irvine, for his advice on the warrants and tells Four Corners: “The intelligence case that ASIO put before me was a very strong case."

But East Timor’s lawyer, Bernard Collaery, says he is concerned the government is trying to stop the former spy, codenamed ‘Witness K’, giving evidence about the espionage operation in legal proceedings launched by East Timor.

East Timor’s advisors are now arguing Australia spied for commercial reasons. Former treaty negotiator Peter Galbraith tells Four Corners: “The Australian government was shockingly close to the oil companies.”

The stakes are high. East Timor wants to invalidate the treaty it signed with Australia in 2006 and has taken its case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

The tiny nation is calling on Australia to finally negotiate permanent and fair maritime boundaries that will give it more control over the oil and gas wealth in the Timor Sea.

"Drawing the Line", reported by Marian Wilkinson, produced by Peter Cronau, and presented by Kerry O’Brien, goes to air on Monday, 17 March 2014, at 8.30pm on ABC1.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestinians Continue The Struggle Against The Adei Ad

Hundreds of Palestinian children, women, and men gathered at Turmusaya on Friday December 17th to complete the tree planting began by Palestinian Authority minister Ziad Abu Ein, who was killed by Israeli soldiers on Friday December 10th. More>>

Israeli Soldier Kills PA Minister At Non-Violent Protest

Yesterday, an Israeli soldier killed Palestinian Authority (PA) Settlment minister, Ziad Abu Ein, at a non-violent demonstration in the village of Turmusaya. More>>

ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Ban on Palestinians claiming compensation against military
  • Pakistan School Killings

    GENEVA (16 December 2014) – The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Tuesday condemned what he described as “an utterly despicable and incomprehensibly vicious attack on defenceless children” at a co-educational school ... More>>

    ALSO:


    Sobering Data On American's Apathy About CIA Torture

    Despite a scathing report on torture, a majority of survey respondents approve of the CIA's grisly methods. More>>



    Sea Shepherd Intercepts Toothfish Poachers

    Yesterday, at approximately 2152 AEDT, the Sea Shepherd conservation ship, Bob Barker, intercepted the illegal fishing vessel Thunder, at 62 15’ South, 81 24’ East, inside the CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) ... More>>


    The White House: Charting A New Course On Cuba

    We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba. More>>

    ALSO:


    Journalist Most Recent Victim Of Israeli Military

    Bashar, a journalist from Palestine TV, was shot in the left leg at Kufr Qaddum on Friday the 5th of December 2014. More>>

    ALSO:

  • Palestinian Centre For Human Rights - Swiss government’s bid to convene a summit on Palestine
  • UN News - UN-backed reconstruction efforts continue in Gaza
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news