Australian Politics International

Australia over spying claims – East Timor

The former East Timorese president Jose Ramos-Horta condemns Australia over spying claims.

East Timor’s former president Jose Ramos-Horta says Australia would never have secured a seat on the United Nations Security Council had claims that it spied on its neighbours been known.

On the face of things, Abbott and Downers behaviours and support over the seizure a number of documents from the office of lawyer Bernard Collaeryand, the confiscation of passports in last weeks raids. ASIO agents also seized material from the home of a former ASIS officer, who was preparing to give evidence against Australia in the case at The Hague.

The officer had his passport cancelled, meaning he could not travel to the hearing.

Attorney-General George Brandis said that he authorised the raids on national security grounds, but he has denied they were linked to the legal action.

Dr Ramos-Horta now acts as a special peace and security envoy for the UN secretary-general. He says Prime Minister Tony Abbott needs to admit fault.

“Australia should be more sensitive and transparent because Australia likes to lecture Timor Leste and other countries about transparency, about integrity in public life,” he said.

“Well this has not been a very good example of transparency and honesty.”

Dr Ramos-Horta says it would be understandable if Australia had spied on North Korea or China, who are “enemies of the West”.

Audio: Jose Ramos Horta speaks to AM (AM)

But he is angry that Australia would spy on “friendly” countries like Indonesia and East Timor – who it helped to free in 1999.

There is a terrible pattern emerging from the newly appointed Liberal federal government. For some things they were not in office for, but for many others they were. The greatest problem that I see, is the Tony Abbott and his front bench cohorts are simply unable to apologise for anything, even if it is there fault.

Isn’t there anyway someone can call a ‘no confidence motion’ against the federal LNPs before Australia, and all the good things that the country is known for, becomes lost beneath the Abbot and Bishop rubble? Are the Australian people able to insist that the Governor General call for ‘no confidence motion’ in the federal LNPs and prompt a new federal election. I know that she is Bill Shortens mother in-law, but if the people of Australia insisted on it…..



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