Posted November 27, 2015 14:21:19

Independent senator Nick Xenophon has known as for a royal commission into the spying scandal in which Australian intelligence officers bugged an East Timorese cabinet workplace.

The ABC’s Lateline has revealed new information about the 2004 spying operation and 1 of Australia’s most senior lawyers, Nicholas Cowdery, says there is a criminal case to answer.

In 2004, ASIS officers snuck into an East Timor cabinet workplace and installed listening devices.

The operation gave Australia the upper hand in negotiations over the treaty to divide the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field in the Timor Sea, worth an estimated $ 40 billion.

Senator Xenophon said a royal commission was required to see if intelligence sources were misused.

“This is the most significant intelligence scandal in this country in the past generation,” he stated.

“It warrants a royal commission, it warrants a judicial inquiry, a forensic examination of what occurred right here since this has broken Australia’s reputation.”

Lawyer-Common George Brandis has previously said he is confident intelligence agencies are compliant with Australian law.

Topics: federal-government, international-law, law-crime-and-justice, east-timor

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