Australian news, and some related international items

USA out to get Julian Assange, and Australian govt not helping him,

Foreign Minister Bob Carr… claimed last week that there was “not the remotest evidence” of any US government desire to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder.

Fresh call on Assange ‘espionage’ SMH Philip Dorling July 2, 2012 THE head of the United States Senate’s powerful intelligence oversight committee has renewed calls for Julian Assange to be prosecuted for espionage. The US Justice Department has also confirmed WikiLeaks remains the target of a criminal investigation, calling into question Australian government claims the US has no interest in extraditing Mr Assange.

“Mr Assange should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act [of 1917],”
the chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence,
Californian Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, said in a written
statement provided to The Age……
Senator Feinstein’s call for the Obama administration to move ahead
with plans to prosecute Mr Assange came as US Justice Department
spokesperson Dean Boyd publicly confirmed that “there continues to be
an investigation into the WikiLeaks matter”.
Mr Assange remains in Ecuador’s embassy in London while the Ecuadorian
government assesses his application for political asylum……
In a statement last Friday, one of Mr Assange’s lawyers, Susan Benn,
highlighted evidence of the existence of a secret US grand jury
investigation targeting Mr Assange and other “founders or managers” of
Senator Feinstein, who enjoys access to the most secret US
intelligence briefings, has argued that Mr Assange should not be
protected by the First Amendment free speech provisions of the US
“Mr Assange claims to be a journalist and would no doubt rely on the
First Amendment to defend his actions. But he is no journalist. He is
an agitator intent on damaging our government,” Senator Feinstein
wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2010.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr, who has declined to describe Mr Assange as a journalist, claimed last week that there was “not the remotest evidence” of any US government desire to prosecute the WikiLeaks founder.
About 200 Assange supporters braved Melbourne’s rain yesterday in a
rally supporting his appeal to Ecuador for asylum.
The supporters marched from the State Library to City Square just
after noon and heard speeches from WikiLeaks founding member Daniel
Matthews, human rights lawyer Lizzie O’Shea and Greens MP Adam Bandt.

Read more:

July 2, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, Wikileaks

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