IET Evolve Video II Dec 2010

IET Evolve Video II  Dec 2010
The Report

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gillard May Get Me Killed: Assange's Mother Speaks

Gillard may get me killed: Assange

EXCLUSIVE: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange says Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put his life at risk by publicly pre-judging his actions as “criminal”.
This Aug. 14, 2010 photo shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Stockholm, Sweden. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 spoke with the Chinese government about the expected release of classified cables by the Wikileaks website. The release of hundreds of thousands of cables is expected this weekend, though Wikileaks has not specified the timing.
Bertil Ericson
WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange says Prime Minister Julia Gillard has put his life and freedom at risk by publicly pre-judging his actions as “criminal”.
In written correspondence between Mr Assange and the Australian Government, made available exclusively to the Sunshine Coast Daily, Mr Assange highlights serious fears that Ms Gillard's statements questioning the legality of WikiLeaks would violate his right to a fair trial.
He said he feared he and his staff could be killed as he was aware senior figures in the United States, including politician Sarah Palin, had been calling for his arrest and assassination.
The 39-year-old Queenslander is currently in solitary confinement in Wandsworth Prison in England for his own safety.
He is due to appear in court for a second time on Tuesday after being arrested on a Swedish warrant.
Prosecutors want to question Julian Assange about allegations of rape and sexual molestation made by two women.
WikiLeaks supporters insist the allegations are politically motivated because of the sensitive nature of the leaked cables.
The US Government is considering extraditing Mr Assange for espionage or charges involving obtaining stolen property.
The charge of espionage involves the death penalty. Either charge would be the first of its kind.
Despite pleas from Mr Assange's Sunshine Coast-based mother Christine, the Australian Government has yet to commit to stepping in and bringing him back to Australia or assuring he won't be passed on to a third country .
Prime Minister Gillard was on holiday yesterday, leaving the Attorney-General's Department to answer a series of questions from the Daily about whether the government's stand was putting Mr Assange's life at risk.
But the answers were less clear than the allegations.
“Mr Assange has the same rights as any other Australian citizen,” a department spokesman said.
“That includes the right to consular assistance from the government and the right to return home to Australia.
“The government is ensuring Mr Assange has access to assistance from consular officials in London.
“They are in regular contact with Mr Assange and his lawyers, over the phone and through face-to-face meetings.”
Attorney-General Robert McClelland has specifically requested the Australian Federal Police examine whether any Australian laws have been breached in the release of classified information on WikiLeaks.
“In conversations I was asked yesterday about issues of illegality. This is a matter which clearly the United States' Government has primary carriage of, given it was their secure information,” he said.
Mr McClelland has compared the saga of leaked US diplomatic cables to former Treasury mole Godwin Grech, who sparked the OzCar affair in mid-2009.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Mr McClelland pointed out it took the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions almost 18 months to decide against taking legal action. A member of Mr Assange's legal team said he complained he “does not get any recreation” in the prison and “has difficulties getting phone calls out. He is on his own”.
He is not allowed to have a laptop in his cell, but his lawyers have requested one.
Assange was in “very good” spirits but “frustrated” that he could not answer allegations against him, the spokesperson said.
About 50,000 Australians have signed a supporting statement about WikiLeaks, and members of action group GetUp have contributed $250,000 to book a full-page ad in leading world newspaper, The New York Times.



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