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Aggravated Espionage

Aggravated Espionage is an offence under section 91.6 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), which carries a maximum penalty of:

  1. 25 years in prison where the maximum for the underlying offence was 20 years, or
  2. Life in prison where the maximum for the underlying offence was 25 years.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You were guilty of an espionage offence under:
  • Section 91.1(1) – Intentionally providing national security information to foreign principal
  • Section 91.2 – Intentionally providing information to a foreign principal, or
  • Section 91.3 – Providing security classified information, and
  1. You dealt with the information or an article of a foreign intelligence agency, or you dealt with 5 or more records or articles which had security classifications, or you altered a record or article to remove or conceal its security classification, or you held an Australian government security clearance allowing access to the material.

Duress and self-defence are defences to the charge.

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