Timor-Leste welcomes Bernard Collaery

Timor-Leste welcomes Bernard Collaery

Australian barrister, lawyer, and former politician, Bernard Collaery (photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

Dili, 18 may 2023(TATOLI)– Timor-Leste welcomes Australian barrister, lawyer, and former politician, Bernard Collaery, who arrived at around 11:00 TLH, at the Nicolau Lobato International Airport by private jet. 

Mr. Collaery and Delegation were welcome by the MKOTT (Movimento Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor).

Speaking to journalist, Celestino Gusmão, MKOTT representatives said the 2013 revelation that Australia had spied on Timor-Leste during the 2004 negotiations was a major turning point in the Timor Sea negotiation process.

A former Australian intelligence officer known as Witness K and his lawyer, Bernard Collaery, played key roles in providing the information.

“All our leaders must come together to provide support so that they do not feel alone in this process because at this time Witness K remains in charge, we must find any way to help him,” explained Celestino at Nicolau Lobato International Airport.

He admitted that what the two people did could not be paid for with anything, even what the Government had done so far was not enough just to give medals of appreciation.

“Their contribution is infinite. MKOTT recommend the Government of Timor-Leste grant them a full right to become Timorese citizens,” he said.

According to Celestino, Timor-Leste has a full obligation to give the greatest appreciation to Bernard Collaery.

Bernard Joseph Edward Collaery is an Australian lawyer and former politician. Collaery was the first member of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian Capital Territory for the Residents Rally party, from 1989 to 1992.

He served as Deputy Chief Minister and Attorney-General from 1989 to 1991 in the Kaine Alliance Government.

In June 2018, the Director of the Commonwealth Public Prosecution charged Collaery under the National Security Information Act (NSI) with disclosing protected intelligence.

The case relates to the Australian and Timor-Leste spying scandal, in which the Australian government bugged Timor-Leste’s offices for profit during commercial negotiations in the resource-rich Timor Sea process. However, in July 2022, the charges were dropped by Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.



Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sa

Editor: Nelia B.


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