Assange to sue Australian PM for defamation

Summary:WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to sue Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation.

Julian Assange has reportedly hired Sydney lawyers to pursue a defamation case against Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Assange has told left-leaning activist group GetUp that Gillard defamed WikiLeaks when she allegedly told a radio station in 2010 that he had broken the law by releasing hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables, according to a statement released by the group on Monday.

"I have hired lawyers in Sydney, and they are investigating the different ways in which we can sue Gillard over this statement," Assange told GetUp.

Assange is holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London, after seeking asylum as part of a bid to fight extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations.

Assange also rejected claims by Foreign Minister Bob Carr that he was receiving full consular support.

"When there are statements made that there are 63 consular contacts, they are counting emails that they send my lawyer, asking for some future possible appointment," he said.

"I haven't seen any member of the Australian embassy or consulate since I was in prison in 2010. And even then, all they did was bring some notepads, pens, etc," he told GetUp.

The news comes as a telemovie drama of Assange's early life, Underground, aired on the Ten network in Australia, securing 1.33 million viewers and winning the timeslot for the network.

Josh Taylor contributed to this article.

Topics: Government, Government : AU

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