Assange probe not political: Rudd

Assange probe not political: Rudd

Summary: Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said any action taken against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will stem from legal processes not political pressures.

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TOPICS: Security, Privacy, China
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Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said that any action taken against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will stem from legal processes, not political pressures.

handcuff

(Innocence/Guilt image, by fyrfli, CC BY-ND 2.0)

He told reporters today that the hunt for Assange is a matter for "due process", involving the Australian Federal Police and the Attorney-General's (AG) Department.

"This country is a nation of laws and we have firm independent legal procedures … at complete arm's length from the political process," Rudd said.

"There is no role for politics in this."

Rudd said it was not his place to comment on the "legality" of Assange's plight and referred questions to the AG about whether consular assistance will be provided to Assange.

But co-director of the University of Sydney Centre for International Law, Ben Saul, said that Assange and Wikileaks has not broken local law, and called for the government to "punch harder than the US believes us capable".

"Our own Attorney-General asked the federal police to investigate Assange. Australia finds itself in step with the criticisms of Iran, China and Turkey," Saul wrote in a Fairfax opinion piece.

"There is no legal duty on ordinary Australians, here or overseas, or foreign media entities not to disclose information that may prejudice Australia's security or the security of foreign governments."

He said, however, that Australia would be required to apprehend Assange if he returned to the country because of the arrest warrant issued by Sweden for alleged rape charges.

Topics: Security, Privacy, China

Darren Pauli

About Darren Pauli

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

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  • Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said that any action taken against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will stem from legal processes, not political pressures.

    That's got to be the most hilarious comment I've seen in the past week.
    Hyperion09
  • "Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said that any action taken against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will stem from legal processes, not political pressures."

    Saying it so does not make it so. I call bullshit!

    We the public need to grow some balls and take the government back! The government is meant to be FOR the people... Why is everything they do against the poeple the supposed to resp rent... $$$ from corporations.
    kirbykia@...
  • The response of governments to Wikileaks is itself the most powerful argument in favour of the need for the whistleblower. The rape charges are a beat-up for one thing, and several governments, Australia's included, have shown themselves willing to throw law and order out the window in pursuit of anti-democratic secrecy.
    kipholbeck
  • Mr. Assange has not been charged with rape, in fact not with any crime that is punishable in Australia. An attempt to extradite him from Australia to Sweden would in all likelihood fail dismally. Why then does the article refer to alleged rape charges, when none have been alleged at all. I suspect Mr. Pauli, the attributed author is suffering from copy-cat syndrome, and has simply failed to check his facts while propagating scandal. How unprofessional.
    ptrrssll@...