Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne says the Attorney General must guarantee that privileged legal advice to the East Timor Government regarding proceedings against the Australian Government in The Hague that was seized by ASIO has not been provided to or used in any way by Australia's legal team.
"Australia's spies have seized privileged legal advice given to East Timor. Was the seizure in part to assist Australia in international legal action against us in The Hague? If not, why hasn't it been returned?" Senator Milne said.
"Given that the seizure has resulted in a complaint against Australia being lodged in the International Court of Justice, Australians deserve to know exactly what has happened to the information since it was seized and why the government has not returned it.
"The coincidence beggars belief. The Attorney General told the Senate he authorised the search warrants on security grounds as defined in Section 25 (2) of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act and that the information would not be used or communicated to our legal officers engaged in the case.
"Now it is apparent that the information was legally privileged and directly related to the case in The Hague. The question is, has it been handed over to them and what has Attorney General George Brandis done to guarantee that is not the case?
"It is time for the Attorney General to come clean on why the documents were taken just before the proceedings started, why privileged legal documents related to the case were seized and why the advice has not been returned.
"East Timor's complaint to the International Court of justice will weigh heavily on Australians who have great affection for the people of East Timor.
"Australia's reputation is being brought into disrepute and the Attorney General owes the nation an explanation."