Australian Greens Senator Scott Ludlam has delivered a series of questions to Prime Minister Gillard’s office today urging her to ensure Australian citizen and WikiLeaks editor in chief Julian Assange is not transferred from Sweden to the United States.
During Senate Question time on 24 November, an Opposition motion to hijack question time meant that the questions Senator Ludlam intended to ask the Prime Minister were not asked.
“I am extremely concerned at the apparent lack of urgency displayed by the Australian Government, and I intend to travel to the UK - at my own expense - to attend Mr Assange’s appeal hearing in the London High Court.
The audio from Senator Ludlam's press conference following the question time debacle is here.
The Australian Foreign Minister has the responsibility for the protection the citizenship entitlements of Australian’s overseas and has answered some but not all of Senator Ludlam’s questions on this matter. Three questions have been referred to the Attorney General.
Detailed background material is available here.
The questions forwarded for the Prime Minister’s consideration are as follows:
Was the US probe into WikiLeaks and Julian Assange raised whether formally or informally with President Obama or members of his delegation to Australia? If so in what manner and by who and what assurances for information were requested and what was the US response.
Has the government used what was apparently known as the “Wikileaks Bill” within the AG Dept., aka the Intelligence Amendment Bill, to spy on Wikileaks or its people or has the recent MOU with the US on data sharing information on Australian Citizens who are said to have committed or will commit crimes for which there is a penalty for 4 years or above been used to this end?
Will the Australian Government prevent Mr. Assange being further extradited from Sweden to the United States for doing what the media have always done which is bring to light material that governments would prefer to keep secret.