Demonstrators Rally Outside Court in Support of ASIS Spy and Lawyer

Demonstrators gathered outside Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court on Wednesday, September 12, to protest charges against Australian spy ‘Witness K’ and his lawyer Bernard Collaery on the day of their first listed court appearance.

The pair were accused for conspiring to breach intelligence laws after Witness K exposed a bugging operation set up by the Australian Secret Intelligence Service to investigate the Timor Leste government in 2004, allegedly in order to help Australia in its dispute with East Timor over ownership of lucrative undersea gas fields.

Independent politician Andrew Wilkie revealed in June that Witness K had been charged for his actions in exposing the bugging operation, despite the operation being illegal. Witness K had enlisted the legal counsel of Collaery who determined the operation had breached the Intelligence Services Act.

According to the court summons, Witness K and Collaery will appear for the first time at 4:15 pm on Wednesday, Canberra Times reported. In this video, Tasmanian Greens senator Nick McKim and protesters outside the courthouse called for criminal charges against the pair to be dropped. McKim said the two should have been congratulated for exposing criminal behaviour instead of being prosecuted. Credit: Nick McKim via Storyful