The International Court of Justice has told Australia to seal documents obtained during an ASIO raid on the offices of a lawyer representing East Timor in legal action over an oil-and-gas treaty.
East Timor wants the 2002 treaty declared invalid, after it was alleged Australian spies bugged an embassy where negotiations where taking place.
Lawyer Bernard Collaery, who is acting for the East Timor government, had his Canberra offices raided by ASIO agents on orders from Attorney-General George Brandis last year. Key documents related to the case were seized.
East Timor’s case hinges on the testimony of a former ASIS agent who alleges the embassy was bugged by Australia operatives. The former spy also had his passport confiscated by ASIO, Australia’s domestic security agency.
‘‘Australia shall not interfere in any way in communications between Timor Leste and its legal advisers in connection with the pending arbitration under the Timor Sea Treaty of 20 May 2002 between Timor Leste and Australia; with any future bilateral negotiations concerning maritime delimitation; or with any other related procedure between the two states, including the present case before the court,’’ ICJ president Peter Tomka said according to Fairfax.
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