Assange: Gillard and Carr must surely answer this story or lose all credibility

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Political musings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

British police officers stand guard outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London after Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced that he had granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (Sang Tan/Associated Press)


The Australian Government insist that any arrangements that its embassy in Washington is making for an extradition of Julian Assange from Sweden to the USA is merely standard procedure and they have not received any information from the US that they intend to do so. This surely strains the Government’s credibility. It is known, for example, that a sealed Grand Jury indictment of Assange exists.

Whatever the truth, does anyone really believe that Australia’s Labor Government is doing anything much to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange? When one sees stories like this, it would be easy for an unbiased observer to assume that beyond mouthing meaningless platitudes it is already decided by “the powers that be” that this courageous journalist (Journalist of the Year in Australia in 2011) should be sent to the USA for trial in a military court which will either jail him for an inordinate length of time or execute him.

Whatever is really going on, with this newspaper report it is now imperitive that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Foreign Minister Bob Carr come clean about whether they have been advised – ever, or whether any other Minister OR official has been advised – that the USA DOES wish to extradite him from Sweden, should he go there.

(Via AFP)

Australian diplomats do believe Washington is targeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for possible prosecution, according to documents obtained by a leading Australian newspaper.

The Australian embassy in Washington is taking seriously the possibility that Assange will eventually be extradited to the United States on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to a huge leak of classified information on the WikiLeaks website, according to The Age newspaper.

A raft of diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information laws and obtained by the newspaper, show Australia has been keeping tabs on Washington’s interest in Assange and has no objection to the potential extradition, the newspaper said.

Despite Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s insistence that the US is not pushing for Assange to be pursued over the leaks, the documents show he and Prime Minister Julia Gillard have been briefed on the issue, The Age reported.

The newspaper also said the cables showed that the Australian government requested early advice from the US on any decision to indict or seek Assange’s extradition.

Assange, an Australian national, has been holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London since June in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over sex assault claims.

He fears Stockholm will then turn him over to the US to face charges over his whistleblowing website.

On Thursday, after Ecuador granted Assange political asylum, Australia said there was little it could do for him, as Britain suggested it was considering a raid on the embassy in order to make an arrest.

Assange has repeatedly criticised Canberra’s handling of his case, but Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said while she was taking “an absolute interest” in his plight, there were limits to what she could do.

His mother Christine said Thursday that she was furious that British police may be sent in to seize her son, claiming they would be acting on behalf of Washington.

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Comments
  1. Phil Smith says:

    This is what one can expect from the Gillard government. Don’t forget our PM, when phoned by Obama the day after Rudd’s removal, volunteered that our troops will remain in Afghanastan as long as the job takes, something for which she had no mandate and probably wasn’t even asked. For Australian foreign policy, read Washington’s.

    Like

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