Assange to sue Australian PM for defamation

Assange to sue Australian PM for defamation

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

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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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10 comments
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  • Mr. attentio whore ..... needs some attention

    Nobody is paying attention to him now that he is hiding like a coward inside a consulate.

    So he needs to do something to get some attention and don't want people to talk about the fact that he is wanted for double rape in Switzerland.
    wackoae
  • Those who seeks truth and justice should not be persecuted

    Double rape? Try "could Mr Assange please have a test for STD?" as THAT is the nature of the query from the woman he had a liaison with. When he visited the Swedish police to respond to that question, they told him there was no charge to answer. And THEN a different prosecutor started marching to another drum for reasons not provided by the Swedish authorities. Does Sweden have a track record in forward extradition to the US? Yup.

    The notion Assange is an 'attention whore' is uninformative spin. I applaud Assange for a 20 year effort culminating in exposing atrocities and war crimes. This is important and just work. I also recognise the humiliation and embarrassment that some folks in the US may feel at those exposures, and that is understandable. But its always best to face up to facts, acknowledge errors and move on. The US would have a stronger international hand if it were to do so. The notion of justice that Assange pursues is one promulgated by the US in its entertainment stories, from pop-eye to superman. Truth and justice. One who seeks this should not be persecuted.
    John Tolhurst
    • Thank you

      NT (except to pass the span filter)
      D.T.Long
    • If the US wanted him so badly...

      Why go through the long route through Sweden? Why not just extradite him from Britain directly.

      If Julian Assange had quietly leaked information over time, through various press outlets, instead of playing saviour of the world, I would have a lot more respect for him. All he has done by leaking all the information at once is, unfortunately, forced governments to be much tighter with security. There will now be far fewer leaks. But hey, Julian Assange will still play the martyr (show pony) and claim he is being persecuted and chased by phantoms. The man is an attention seeker and always has been.

      I just wonder what South American governments have been promised in return for giving him political assylum. We probably won't find out as it's a secret, and I doubt Mr Assange will leak it.
      A Grain of Salt
      • Exactly

        The US has a very tight extradition agreement with Britain .... and no extradition agreement with Sweden.

        All the BS is nothing but a legal tactic from a serial rapist.
        wackoae
      • I do suspect him of narcissism

        The rape allegations go along with that (though I have no idea whether or not they're true). Regardless, self-promotion appears to be what Julian Assange does best. Risk-taking, which is a prerequisite for real heroism, is clearly not.
        John L. Ries
      • They would get him into Sweden from where he can be extradited

        Because he has not committed a crime connected with the US, they cannot extradite him from the UK. But Sweden has a lower standard of protection for individuals, so that is the place the US want him. Perhaps the US don't want him after all and he has no reason to fear, but hey, its not a gambol I would take, would you?
        John Tolhurst
      • Keep your material safe, idiots

        If stuff should be secret, make it so. If stuff is of lower importance, do not hide it. Most of what was leaked was deemed to be secret, but was of no actual importance. All was readily accessible by many many individuals. Not a solution for keeping secrets.

        What reward for Ecuador? Only the opportunity to express their independence of thought from he US. National Pride. Finally not driven by poverty to bend over to every US whim. I can feel the relief from here.
        John Tolhurst
  • Demanding the honor of being prosecuted?

    Of course, he'd have to go home to get that, which he doesn't appear eager to do.
    John L. Ries
  • Recommend you all study the case first

    You all need to watch Four Corners, the leading Australian investigative journalism TV program from the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Watch the interviews, get some facts under your collective belt and come back to this thread: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2012/07/19/3549280.htm
    John Tolhurst