A former Customs officer found guilty of leaking classified information that exposed security breaches at Sydney Airport has lost an appeal against his conviction.
Allan Kessing applauded the 2005 leak of two Customs reports to The Australian newspaper but always maintained he was not behind it.
The leak prompted a big inquiry into crime and security at Australia's airports and led to a $200 million overhaul of procedures, but the whistleblower himself was last year given a nine-month suspended jail sentence for his actions.
Three Supreme Court judges reviewed Mr Kessing's case and announced today they had agreed to dismiss his appeal. The judges included Justice Virginia Bell, who was last week appointed to the High Court.
The retired 60-year-old says his legal bills will wipe out his superannuation.
"Not only did I not do it, it was patently obvious to anyone with half a brain who did do it," he said outside the Supreme Court today.
"I just cannot believe the decision's been reached.
"We're going to study the judgement or the reasons now but I'm just devastated. This is basically three-and-a-half years of my life that's just been crashed and it hasn't finished yet."
Mr Kessing could try to challenge his loss in the High Court but there is no guarantee the court will agree to hear the case or that he will be able to fund such an appeal.
"I have never been asked, 'Did you do this?' I've just sat there bemused by the whole thing," he said.
"It's pretty obvious why they needed a victim and I was the obvious one because I was retired and had no resources to fight it.
"My other colleagues would still be in the CPSU [Community and Public Sector Union] so they'd have the backing from that.
"They just needed a victim. They got one and who cares what happens to little people?"
Mr Kessing said the information was leaked because he and his colleagues were frustrated that reports they prepared was rejected.
He says the subsequent inquiry vindicated the findings of the reports but there has not been satisfactory change since.
"There was a report a few months ago saying that they've only just now got some new surveillance cameras in," he said.
"We're talking five years after the event. I wrote these reports in 2002, 2003.
"Five years later, they've finally managed to put up a few cameras but the actual procedures haven't changed."
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