A former Australian military lawyer charged over the leaking of sensitive documents to ABC journalists says people should speak up if a government crosses a line in favour of its own self-interest.
In May, David William McBride, 55, was committed to stand trial on a charge of theft of commonwealth property and three counts of breaching the Defence Act.
He is also charged with the unauthorised disclosure of information.
He faces a directions hearing in the ACT Supreme Court on Thursday.
The leaks were to journalists Dan Oakes, Andrew Clark and Chris Masters, who produced the 2017 investigative report The Afghan Files.
The story examined incidents between 2009 and 2013 when special forces allegedly shot dead insurgents and unarmed civilians, including children.
McBride, who represented himself at his last appearance in court, has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The ACT Magistrates Court heard in May - when chief magistrate Lorraine Walker committed the case for trial in the Supreme Court - that McBride would consent to orders proposed by the commonwealth attorney-general governing how sensitive material was handled during the case.
Outside the court ahead of Thursday's hearing, McBride said he was not concerned if the government wanted secrecy.
"A secret trial will actually help me because it means I can say, 'Remember in Afghanistan in 2009 when this happened or that happened', and they can't say 'shut up, you can't talk about that'," he told Sky News.
"I should have completely free rein to say this is what happened at that cabinet meeting or this is what happened at that meeting of generals."
McBride was arrested by federal police at Sydney airport on his way to his new home in Spain in September 2018, after returning to Australia briefly for a father-daughter school dance.
Police had raided his home in February 2018, armed with a search warrant looking for information relating to the ABC journalists, military files and the news stories.
Federal police raided the ABC's Sydney headquarters on June 5 this year, sparked outrage among politicians and the media over press freedom and whistleblower protections.
McBride served for nearly six years with the British Armed Forces before serving in the Australian Defence Force from 2008 to 2017, and completed two tours of Afghanistan.
He was medically discharged in 2017.
McBride says it's in the public interest to leak information about what he saw as wrongdoing.
"When a government crosses a line, when they no longer put the welfare of the nation first but their self-interest, it's time for government employees and army officers like myself to speak up," he said.
"It can never be an offence to rebel against a tyrannical government."