Australia's 'Watergate' outcry on spy case

Another senator has attacked a Commonwealth prosecution case against a spy and his lawyer, who revealed Australia bugged East Timor's cabinet rooms in 2004.

The case against a spy-turned-whistleblower and his lawyer is a "disgrace" that should be kicked out of court, an independent senator says.

Centre Alliance's Rex Patrick is calling for all Commonwealth charges against Canberra lawyer Bernard Collaery and his client, known only as Witness K, to be dropped.

The pair are facing criminal charges of conspiring to communicate secret information after revealing Australia bugged East Timor's cabinet rooms in 2004.

Senator Patrick is visiting Dili this week as part of a parliamentary delegation and says it is "sadly ironic" he would be in the East Timorese capital at the same time the case is due back in court.

"Witness K exposed the morally bankrupt nature of Australian policy towards our small and impoverished neighbour," Senator Patrick said.

"It is a disgrace that the attorney-general authorised this highly political and internationally sensitive prosecution to proceed.

"The prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery should be dropped without delay."

The matter was due back at ACT Magistrates Court on Monday, but has been delayed until at least Thursday.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions told AAP a new date and time is yet-to-be confirmed for the hearing but would "most likely" be later this week.

Senator Patrick is the latest senator to condemn the charges after the Greens' Nick McKim slammed the case last month.

Senator McKim, independent MP Andrew Wilkie and Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie joined in a rally outside the court before a brief directions hearing on September 12.

They called on Attorney-General Christian Porter to step in and drop what they believed to be politically motivated charges against the pair.

Mr Porter previously said the CDPP sought his permission to lay the charges and he gave consent after "very detailed, very thorough advice".

Witness K, a former Australian Secret Intelligence Service agent, was a key witness for East Timor over allegations Dili's cabinet rooms were bugged during negotiations over a gas and oil treaty.

Source AAP

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