Canberra's secret prisoner says he was prevented from giving classified evidence for an investigation into his case because of the coronavirus, resulting in the entire inquiry being called off.
The former intelligence officer, who can't be named, was secretly imprisoned in Canberra's jail for 15 months after a secret trial.
Independent Security Legislation Monitor James Renwick, a national security legislation watchdog, was so concerned about the case that he launched an investigation.
I would not like to see it repeated," he told a Senate inquiry in March.
"There has been an apparently unique set of circumstances whereby a person was charged, arraigned, pleaded guilty, sentenced, and has served his sentence with minimal public knowledge of the details of the crime."
But late in April Mr Renwick said he had dropped his case, saying the coronavirus had impacted his ability to communicate with relevant people.
Witness J, who was given the pseudonym name Alan Johns by the court system and was known only by the pseudonym even in jail, said he was intending to make an unclassified submission and a separate classified submission to Mr Renwick's investigation.
The classified submission would have required him to go to a secure government location and share his information verbally.
But Mr Renwick's office had told him that could not be done given the coronavirus restrictions and with his term ending this month.
A spokesperson for Mr Renwick said the pandemic impacted his ability to engage with key stakeholders and the public for a thorough review.
"These key stakeholders included, but were not limited to, "Alan Johns". The impacts included limitations on in-person meetings and hearings and restrictions on interstate travel," the spokesperson said.
Witness J, who already feels silenced by his experience of being secretly jailed under a pseudonym and not being allowed to tell his story, feels further silenced by Mr Renwick's decision to call off his investigation.
He insists it should have been possible to set up a safe way for him to visit a "secure compartmented information facility" and he compares it to the system endorsed by authorities for him to provide classified information in his court case while he was in prison.
After he made a complaint to the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security Margaret Stone while in prison, Ms Stone had sent staff members to interview him.
Witness J said he had been given a two-hour window before their visits and told to make hand-written notes, which were classified as "top secret code word", then keep them with him in prison before handing them directly to the visitors.
Witness J said he had wanted to detail his treatment to Mr Renwick, including the fact that his family hadn't even been told for three weeks that he had been jailed.
Witness J was arrested in May 2018 after being accused of mishandling classified information (he used a non-secure system to communicate with a superior and with the in-house psychologist about colleagues in the intelligence community).
He was jailed on remand until February 2019 when his case finally came to court, and then sentenced to a prison term that ended in August 2019.
His case remains secret but came to light when he took a separate case against the jail after raids on his cell and a family member's home when police were told he was writing a book.
Mr Renwick has said Witness J agreed to his trial being held in secret, but Witness J said he never agreed and presumes his lawyers did that on his behalf.
"This idea that this secret trial had my blessing, the inability to see my family had my blessing, is just absolutely absurd," he said.
"I was arrested, remanded, never given bail, had a lawyer approved by the secret agency I worked for, and all of a sudden I'm consenting to these absolutely absurd restrictions around my life."
In his civil case, he sought the court orders governing his criminal case, telling the court in May last year the court orders had never been produced or explained to him and he had no idea what restrictions were in place and so was being held to a hidden standard.
He was finally allowed to read the orders a month before his release, and even then, he had to read them in a special room, re-seal the envelope and return them.
"Why would I go to all this effort to have them produce these secret court orders if I had previously seen them and and consented to them?" he said.
Witness J is still waiting for the results of Ms Stone's investigation. Mr Renwick's spokesperson said it would be open to his successor to review the case.