Assange 'has not broken Australian law'

2010-12-17 08:10

kalahari.com

  • Wikileaks
    WikiLeaks is the most challenging journalistic phenomenon to have emerged in the digital era. It... Now R229.00
    buy now
Sydney - Police in Australia have concluded that WikiLeaks and its Australian-born founder Julian Assange have not broken any laws in his home country by publishing classified US documents, the government said on Friday.

The finding has no direct bearing on investigations in the United States into the original leaking of the thousands of classified diplomatic documents to Assange's organisation, or the sexual assault allegations for which he is wanted in Sweden.

But it will come as good news to Assange, who has complained of persecution by the Australian government over the publication of the documents, which have outraged Washington and been condemned by the United States and its allies.

Assange has not said he wants to return to Australia, though his mother and son both live in the country.

The government said last month it had ordered Australian Federal Police to determine whether WikiLeaks had broken any Australian laws by publishing the US cables. Reports of documents obtained by WikiLeaks have included classified reports from the US Embassy in Canberra to the State Department.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Friday said the police had now reported back to the government.

Condemnation

"The advice is that there has been no breaches of Australian law," Gillard told reporters.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland gave a little more information, saying in a statement that, on the current information available, police had not identified any criminal offenses within Australia's jurisdiction so no formal investigation had been launched.

Gillard again condemned WikiLeaks for publishing the documents, saying it was "grossly irresponsible". The government has said publication of the internal documents could harm relations between governments.

She said whoever leaked the documents to WikiLeaks had clearly broken US laws. She said that theft was appropriately being investigated by US authorities. Australian officials have said they are assisting US authorities in that investigation.

Assange was released on bail on Thursday from a London jail, where he was being held in connection to the Swedish sexual molestation allegations. Assange has denied any wrongdoing, but has said that he is concerned that if he goes to Sweden he may eventually be sent to the United States on charges related to the leaks.

No such charges have been laid, but US officials are investigating whether Assange could be charged in US court under the Espionage Act or face other crimes - such as theft of government property or receipt of stolen government property.

The US government suspects WikiLeaks received the documents from an Army private, Bradley Manning, who is in the brig on charges of leaking other classified documents to the organisation.


- AP
Read more on:    wikileaks  |  julia gillard  |  julian assange  |  australia  |  security
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Stand up paddler rides over shark!

This stand up paddler had no idea that a great white shark was directly beneath him when he went gliding out to shore.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.