Australian news, and some related international items

Greens Senator helping Julian Assange, amid silence from Australian government on Assange’s human rights

Scott Ludlam (left) in Europe to ‘protect Julian Assange’s human rights’ Herald Sun, : AAP December 26, 2011 SWEDISH officials have met an Australian senator to discuss the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. As extradition proceedings against the 40-year-old Australian continue in London, Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam has
embarked on a European mission to secure guarantees about Assange’s human rights, should he be extradited to the Nordic nation. Swedish prosecutors want Assange in Stockholm for questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in the capital inAugust 2010.

Assange denies the claims and is refusing to return to Sweden, fearing that the country will hand him over to the United States, where his secret-leaking website is the subject of a major investigation……

From February 1, Assange will face a panel of seven British supreme court justices for a two-day hearing where he will appeal the rulings of lower courts that he should be extradited to Stockholm.

Senator Ludlam plans to take the information he has learned in Stockholm to the Australian Parliament and seek cross-party support for the Government to do “everything possible to prevent this

Experts said the evidence may open Assange to a charge of conspiracy to commit espionage. Assange to face US spy charges Courier Mail,   December 25, 2011 JULIAN Assange may face spying charges in the US for his alleged role in stealing military documents. During this week’s hearing into the Private Bradley Manning case at

Fort Meade, Maryland, lawyers produced online chat logs which purport to show that the 40-year-old Australian coached Mr Manning on how to break passwords and gain anonymous access to military computer networks, The (London) Times reported.

The chat logs – revealed in the US military court on Thursday –
represent the first evidence the US government has produced alleging
that Assange helped Mr Manning, 24, remove and transmit files from a
top-secret facility in Iraq, the report said.

Mr Manning is accused of leaking about 250,000 secret diplomatic
cables to WikiLeaks, as well as video footage of a US helicopter crew
laughing as they shot and killed 11 people. He served in Iraq from
November 2009 until his arrest the following May. Jennifer Robinson, a
lawyer for Assange, told the newspaper that the evidence “gives us a
very clear indication that the US government intends to prosecute
Julian Assange and potentially others associated with WikiLeaks.”

Experts said the evidence may open Assange to a charge of conspiracy
to commit espionage. Assange has denied having any direct contact with
Mr Manning.

The WikiLeaks founder is currently fighting extradition from the UK to
Sweden on allegations of sexual assault.

December 26, 2011 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international |

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