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Intelligence Services Bill 2001

Part 2 Offences

   

9   Offences relating to publishing or disclosing evidence or documents

             (1)  A person (including a member) is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person discloses or publishes any evidence taken by the Committee or the contents of any document produced to the Committee; and

                     (b)  the disclosure or publication is not authorised in writing by:

                              (i)  if the person who gave the evidence or produced the document is a staff member—the Director-General; or

                             (ii)  in any other case—the person who gave the evidence or produced the document; and

                     (c)  the disclosure or publication is of evidence, or is of the contents of a document, that has not already been lawfully disclosed or published.

             (2)  Subclause (1) does not apply to the disclosure or publication by a person of a matter of which the person has become aware otherwise than because of the giving of any evidence before, or the production of any document to, the Committee.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (3)  Subclause (1) has effect despite section 2 of the Parliamentary Papers Act 1908 .

             (4)  In this clause:

Committee includes the Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Note:          The Parliamentary Joint Committee on the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (established under the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 ) ceased to exist when the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIS and ASIO was established. However, the records of the earlier Committee were transferred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on ASIS and ASIO.

10   Offences relating to giving evidence or producing documents

             (1)  A person who has been given a notice requiring the person to appear before the Committee is guilty of an offence if the person:

                     (a)  fails to attend as required by the notice; or

                     (b)  having not been excused or released by the Committee, fails to attend and report from day to day; or

                     (c)  refuses or fails to be sworn or to make an affirmation; or

                     (d)  refuses or fails to answer a question, not being a question about a matter in respect of which a certificate has been issued under clause 4, that the Committee requires the person to answer.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 6 months or 30 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Subclause (1) applies to a staff member who is nominated by the Director-General under subclause 3(5) to appear before the Committee to give evidence.

             (3)  Paragraph (1)(d) does not apply if the answer to the question would tend to incriminate the person.

             (4)  A person who has been given a notice requiring the person to produce a document, not being a document in respect of which a certificate has been issued under clause 4, to the Committee is guilty of an offence if the person refuses or fails to produce the document.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 6 months or 30 penalty units, or both.

             (5)  Subclause (4) does not apply if the producing of the document would tend to incriminate the person.

             (6)  A person is guilty of an offence if the person:

                     (a)  gives evidence to the Committee; and

                     (b)  does so knowing that the evidence is false or misleading in a material particular.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

11   Protection of witnesses

             (1)  A person who causes or threatens to cause any detriment to another person with the intention that the other person or a third person will:

                     (a)  not attend as a witness before the Committee; or

                     (b)  give false evidence or a falsified document to the Committee; or

                     (c)  withhold true evidence or a document from the Committee;

is guilty of an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years or 300 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  A person who otherwise improperly influences another person with the intention that the other person or a third person will:

                     (a)  not attend as a witness before the Committee; or

                     (b)  give false evidence or a falsified document to the Committee; or

                     (c)  withhold true evidence or a document from the Committee;

is guilty of an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years or 300 penalty units, or both.

             (3)  A person who causes or threatens to cause any detriment to another person because that other person or a third person appeared before the Committee or produced a document to the Committee is guilty of an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 5 years or 300 penalty units, or both.

12   Secrecy

             (1)  A person who is or has been a member, or a member of the staff, of the Committee is guilty of an offence if the person, directly or indirectly:

                     (a)  makes a record of, or discloses or communicates to a person, any information acquired because of holding the office or employment; or

                     (b)  produces to a person a document provided to the Committee for the purposes of enabling the Committee to perform its functions;

and the action of the person is not carried out for the purposes of enabling the Committee to perform its functions.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  A person who is or has been a member, or a member of the staff, of the Committee must not be required to:

                     (a)  produce in a court a document of which he or she has custody, or to which he or she has access, because of his or her position as a member, or a member of the staff, of the Committee; or

                     (b)  disclose or to communicate to a court any information obtained by him or her because of such a position.

             (3)  In this clause:

produce includes permit access to.

13   Prosecution of offences

                   A prosecution for an offence against this Part can be instituted only by the Attorney-General or with the Attorney-General’s consent.