Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Police drag Julian Assange from Embassy. Scott Morrison says “no special help”, Bill Shorten pleads ignorance of the matter

https://www.rt.com/news/456212-julian-assange-embassy-eviction/ 12 Apr, 2019

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has spent the last seven years. That’s after Ecuador’s president Moreno withdrew asylum.

That’s only a day after WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson claimed that an extensive spying operation was conducted against Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy. During an explosive media conference Hrafnsson alleged that the operation was designed to get Assange extradited.

Assange’s relationship with Ecuadorian officials appeared increasingly strained since the current president came to power in the Latin American country in 2017. His internet connection was cut off in March of last year, with officials saying the move was to stop Assange from “interfering in the affairs of other sovereign states.”

The whistleblower garnered massive international attention in 2010 when WikiLeaks released classified US military footage, entitled ‘Collateral Murder’, of a US Apache helicopter gunship opening fire on a number of people, killing 12 including two Reuters staff, and injuring two children. 

The footage, as well as US war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 200,000 diplomatic cables, were leaked to the site by US Army soldier Chelsea Manning. She was tried by a US tribunal and sentenced to 35 years in jail for disclosing the materials.

Manning was pardoned by outgoing President Barack Obama in 2017 after spending seven years in US custody. She is currently being held again in a US jail for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury in a case apparently related to WikiLeaks.

Julian Assange ‘won’t get any special treatment’: Scott Morrison, SMH , By Michael Koziol and Latika Bourke
April 12, 2019  Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed Australia is providing consular assistance to Julian Assange following his arrest in London but the Wikileaks founder will receive “no special treatment”, even in the wake of a US extradition request.

An Australian citizen, Assange had been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for more than six years until that country ended his political asylum on Thursday for “discourteous and aggressive behaviour” and WikiLeaks’ “hostile and threatening declarations” against Ecuador.

He was charged with skipping bail by entering the embassy in 2012. Appearing in Westminster Magistrates’ Court four hours later, he pleaded not guilty, claiming he had a reasonable excuse for seeking asylum as his arrest would end in his extradition to the US.

That extradition request, on charges related to the publication of vast quantities of classified information by Wikileaks, is forthcoming but will be fought by Assange’s lawyers…..

Scott Morrison – “He won’t be getting any special treatment from Australia, he’ll be getting the same treatment that any other Australian would get.”

Asked whether Australia would fight a move to extradite Assange to the US, Mr Morrison said the Wikileaks founder was at the mercy of the British justice system. ……
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, also commencing the election campaign in Sydney, said Assange was entitled to his day in court but had no view on his extradition to the US.
“I think he should receive consular assistance, beyond that I don’t know all the facts of the matter,” Mr Shorten said. “He should deserve the ability to be represented in court which he will be.” …….https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/julian-assange-won-t-get-any-special-treatment-scott-morrison-20190412-p51dfg.html

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April 11, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties, politics international

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