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Australia drops charge against lawyer over spying claim

By ROD McGUIRK
Associated Press

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia’s new government has dropped the 4-year-old prosecution of a lawyer over his alleged attempt to help East Timor prove Australia spied on it during multibillion-dollar oil and gas negotiations. Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says the decision is in the interests of justice, national security and Australia’s relations with its neighbors. Australia has long refused to confirm or deny whether Australian spies bugged East Timor government offices for an advantage in negotiations on undersea energy resources. East Timor had lobbied for the charge against the lawyer to be dropped. It argued the 2006 treaty was invalid because Australia failed to negotiate in good faith. They agreed on a new maritime border treaty in 2018.

Article Topic Follows: AP National Business

Associated Press

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