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Knowingly Supporting a Foreign Intelligence Agency

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Knowingly supporting a foreign intelligence agency is an offence under section 92.7 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 provided resources, or material support, to an organisation or person acting on behalf of an organisation, and
  2. 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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