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Knowingly Funding, Being Funded by or Collecting Funds for a Foreign Intelligence Agency

Knowingly funding, being funded by or collecting funds for a foreign intelligence agency is an offence under section 92.9 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth), Which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

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

  1. You directly or indirectly received or obtained funds from, made funds available to, Or collected funds for or on behalf of an organisation, or a person acting on behalf of an organisation
  2. The organisation was a foreign intelligence agency, and
  3. You knew the organisation was a foreign intelligence agency.

You are not guilty if you establish, ‘on the balance of probabilities’, that your conduct was:

  1. In accordance with a law of the Commonwealth
  2. In accordance with an arrangement or agreement to which the Commonwealth was party, or
  3. In your capacity as a public official.

The Attorney-General’s consent is required for a prosecution to be commenced under the section, and the hearing may occur ‘in camera’ (in secret) if the court believes this is in the interests of national security.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

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