Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Why does Russia have a more open justice system than Australia? Alexei Navalny’s trial versus Witness K and Bernard Collaery

Russia recently jailed opposition political leader Alexei Navalny but the court case was broadcast on TV which is the highest level of open justice. While in Australia the federal government are trying to stitch up government corruption whistleblowers in court behind closed doors with no public allowed in court and the media only allowed limited court access and a large part of the case suppressed.

I’m not trying to defend Russia’s stitch-up of corruption whistleblower Alexei Navalny as he clearly shouldn’t be in jail but what I am doing is trying to highlight that Australia is no better and actually worse when it comes to the treatment of whistleblowers and denying public scrutiny of public interest court cases.

Below is the latest ABC news story on the matter (3/2/21) titled “Alexei Navalny sentenced to jail in Russia for breaching probation” and in the story they have video of Alexei Navalny in court and recordings of what he said in court while in Australia the government is trying to jail government whistleblowers Witness K, Bernard Collaery and others in closed courts with no media or public allowed. 

It could be argued that at least Australia has never tried to poison its whistleblowers like Russia tried to do with Alexei Navalny and that’s true. But the mental torture the whistleblowers in Australia suffer at the hands of government bullying and the government’s abuse of the legal system can be debilitating for the whistleblowers, so it’s not that much better than Russia.

Witness K and Bernard Collaery

Witness K and Bernard Collaery blew the whistle on Australia trying to rip off one of the poorest countries in the world on the instructions of the then foreign minister Alexander Downer who later went on the personally profit from the scandal.

Bernard Collaery

Bernard Collaery

The Conversation reported in June 2018:

The relevant background is that three months before East Timor became an independent state in 2002, Australia’s foreign minister Alexander Downer withdrew Australia from the maritime boundary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea. East Timor couldn’t claim its right under international law to a maritime boundary halfway between the two countries’ coastlines. It was forced to negotiate bilaterally with Australia.

Downer then allegedly ordered ASIS to bug East Timor’s negotiators. ASIS installed listening devices inside East Timor’s cabinet offices using the cover of a foreign aid program.

East Timor signed a treaty that denied them their right to a maritime border on the median line. The Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dr Ashton Calvert, then retired and joined the board of directors of Woodside Petroleum. Downer took a lucrative consultancy with Woodside after leaving parliament in 2008. It has been reported that Woodside’s chairman, Charles Goode, “sat on the boards of top Liberal Party fundraising vehicles that generated millions of dollars in political donations.” (Click here to read more)

The persecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery is still before the court in Canberra as the government tries to jail them.

Where is Alexander Downer? He was on the ABC’s political program QandA on Thursday (4/2/21) trying to repair his tattered reputation. One way to look at it is the government broadcaster in effect helping hide a crime as Downer should be facing jail, not Witness K and Bernard Collaery.

On the open justice front, it is arguable that Australia is actually worse than Russia and its a bit rich for the federal government to be calling for Alexei Navalny to be released while the government is trying to jail whistleblowers here with no accountability or open justice.

Admin: I was in the NSW Supreme Court via videolink from Queensland on Monday and Tuesday for Kerry Stokes’ frivolous and vexatious contempt charge via his companies Seven Network and Seven West Media. I have 2 weeks to file written submissions, so I won’t say any more at the moment.

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16 replies »

  1. “I’m not trying to defend Russia’s stitch-up of corruption whistleblower Alexei Navalny as he clearly shouldn’t be in jail”

    You’re joking right? Has anyone thought that pretty much everything they know about Navalny has been taught to them by dirty western MSM? Navalny is a traitor to Russia, helping the global western criminal mafia to infiltrate Russia and steal everything, again.

    Navalny’s aide Vladimir Ashurkov was caught on camera by the FSB asking for millions of dollars from a British diplomat spy at the UK embassy in Russia, James William Thomas Ford. Please everyone research that. I could have provided a link (or five) but suspect it would not be allowed.

    I cannot believe how people who see the corruption here in Australia, both govt and media, cannot see the corrupt media reporting by those same people about other places in the world which need to be “demoocratized”.

      • Our TRUSTWORTHY (sarc) media and governments have painted Putin (among many others) as “dictators”. It’s up to us unfortunately to dig around for both sides of the story, analyze the information, and work out what the truth is or the closest approximation to the truth.

        Putin is far less of a dictator than what we have anywhere in the west.

        Can you imagine the media uproar and hysteria if a politician or political activist here was caught red handed asking for money from a foreign diplomat in an embassy? Ha. Oh but that happens all the time in foreign lands (another eg: US diplomats in Hong Kong meeting with the protest leaders, same protest leader meeting in Europe with top EU officials). So we are acclimatized to it, so long as we are not on the receiving end, but our corrupt media have taught us that this is a big nothing-burger, or more often does not even happen.

      • The article is about Australia stitching up whistleblowers in closed courts which you haven’t mentioned in your two comments. That is one reason Australia has so any problems. People are more focused on world affairs and ignore the corruption in our own country.

      • The key here is to understand who the enemy of the people is, and how far their tentacles reach. The same people who corrupt the courts in Australia are the same people who corrupt the politicians, are the same people who control the media and everything you think you know, and the same people who instigate wars and colour revolutions across the world. Sure, this website focuses on the Aussie mafia part, but the loose threads here are part of a big global tangled ball of string. Unless one examines each thread and each adjacent thread and follows it to wherever it leads, one has no chance of seeing the whole picture. <-This is why the world is in such a bad state – because the crimes these people are doing are so well hidden that people are unable to connect all the dots and identify the sheer magnitude of their criminality. More often than not people unwittingly fight to protect this evil system.

      • Is that how you justify ignoring Australian whistleblowers who need our help right now? What about Witness K and Bernard Collaery who in 3 comments you have not mentioned?

    • You sound like a Kremlebot from Prigozhin’s factory. Navalny is a brave man and you are a KGB puppet.

  2. Well said, Shane.
    “Christian” Porter decided to prosecute Witness K and his courageous lawyer after George Brandis decided to leave it alone, obviously to further his own political ambitions.
    Our only hope of any information of this trial in closed court rests in Andrew Wilkie bringing the matter up again in Parliament.

  3. We don’t have to compare Australia with Russia to know that our fascist Morrison government is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg & will do whatever it takes by hook or by crook to cover it up.
    Closed secret courts along with their findings, unnecessary, over the top draconian laws hurriedly introduced under the guise of National Security, the whittling away of civil liberties, increased surveillance of its citizens & massively increased government interference & infiltration off LNP goons into the ABC, SBS, AFP, AAT, CSIRO, HRC, ABF & countless other once independent from government corporations & organisations. Oh, and let’s not forget the funding cuts to the Auditor General that shone the light on Morrison & McKenzie’s $139m “Sports Rorts” debacle.
    The amount of coverups by this 2013-2021 Coalition government is endless & includes gagging the public, whistleblowers, journalists & setting double standards with one set of rules for pollies & their staffers with another set of rules everyone else.
    It’s no wonder this crooked Coalition government has failed & avoided at all costs to introduce a Commonwealth Integrity Commission with teeth & adequate funding to do its job.

  4. Can`t tell me of corruption on all levels in Oz. I keep banging on with media comments about the 1000 lawyers and judges who have been disbarred, dismissed, fined or censured over the last two decades, but never get a comeback from reporters or other commenters. Guess Aussies are used to laying down and taking whatever is dished out. BOHICA !

  5. Like whistleblowers, Shane, you hope to make changes for the better in Australia. But, like whistleblowers, after the dust has settled, don`t expect thanks from any Aussies who benefit from your crusade. Except, of course, from the few of us who think the effort is worthwhile. 🙂

  6. It’s not unknown for governments here to poison whistleblowers – but they do it through their underhanded laws relating to “Fixated Persons”, and they misuse the Mental Health Act to get away with it. See here: Search for more on Fiona Wilson.
    All they have to do is use the word “delusional” and they can forcefully inject people with anti-psychotics as a means of controlling them.

  7. ‘Fixated Persons’ sounds like another of those legal gimmicks they trot out to discourage citizens after their rights. I used to love ‘Vexatious Litigant’ as a grab-all when the only vexatious were lawyers stringing out cases with manufactured lies. Even ‘Innocent till proved guilty’ has started to fall by the wayside as people wake up to legal boondoggles.

  8. The Fixated Persons idea originated in the UK I believe, and was intended to keep control of terrorists. However in Australia it has become a means of silencing whistleblowers and political dissidents or even just people who complain about corruption in government. Fiona Wilson was failed by the system and by the general population who should have been screaming out about what was being done to her. Apathy rules.

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