Whistleblower lawyer represents whistleblower in Australia

CANBERRA, Ausrtralia (AP) — A lawyer charged with conspiring to reveal classified information to expose a diplomatic scandal appeared in a Canberra court representing another alleged whistleblower charged with leaking secret documents alleging military misconduct in Afghanistan.

Lawyer Bernard Collaery appeared in the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court for David McBride, a former army lawyer who admits leaking classified documents about Australian Special Air Service Regiment involvement in the Afghanistan war to Australian Broadcasting Corp reporters.

Both are at the centre of a campaign in Australia to wind back national security laws that infringe on press freedom and to provide legal protections for whistleblowers who expose government wrongdoing.

Collaery told the court yesterday that there would be a hearing on whether McBride was immune from prosecution under the Public Interest Disclosure Act because the documents were leaked in the public interest.

Banners are shown during a rally in Canberra, Australia. PHOTO: AP