See below in full a classified DFAT (Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade) document, referred to recently by the Fairfax Press, that provides incontrovertible evidence that the Gillard Government has been lying about its knowledge of US intentions to prosecute Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Below, we refer to significant pages of this, now declassified but heavily redacted, document, which is worth reading in full.
“US officials have announced publicly that an investigation into Wikileaks has been underway.” (2 May, 2012)
“On 29 November 20I0 the US Attorney-General, Holder, said that there was an active ongoing criminal investigation with regard to this matter [the Wikileaks affair].”
Dated 1 February, 2012, ‘Restricted’. “The US investigation into possible criminal conduct by Mr Assange has been ongoing for more than a year. There has been much public speculation on charges that could be brought and the legal obstacles to a successful prosecution…This cable provides an update on the status of the US legal investigation into possible criminal charges again Mr Julian Assange. It includes a summary of possible charges, based on comments by legal experts and media reports as well as on subpoenas reportedly served in connection with the grand jury overseeing the investigation.”
Discussion on the charges that could be levied against Assange by the USA. The cables identify “a wide range of criminal charges the US could bring against Assange, including espionage, conspiracy, unlawful access to classified information and computer fraud.” They indicate “Australian diplomats expect that any charges against Assange would be carefully drawn in an effort to avoid conflict with the First Amendment free speech provisions of the US constitution.” (1 February, 2012).
The document also shows that Australia’s ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley, asked the USA for advance warning of any move to extradite Mr Assange, that Australia has no objection to a potential extradition to the US, and that the Gillard Government has confirmed its Washington embassy is preparing for the possibility of Mr Assange’s extradition.
Those people who think that the decision by the Ecuadorean Govt to grant asylum to Assange means that it’s now virtually over are seriously deluding themselves. As previously stated, there is only one way that Assange can leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London without being arrested. The Ecuadorean Government will need to appoint him as Hon Consul for a country other than the UK or a country with an extradition agreement with the US, or as their UN ambassador (none of which requires British Govt approval) and to issue him with a diplomatic passport. Though none of that would need to happen if the British Home Secretary, Theresa May, gives a guarantee there would be no onward-extradition from Sweden (she has the power to do that but has to date refused). Indeed, Assange has recently re-stated his willingness to return to Sweden if this was to happen. See also video with latest comments by Daniel Ellsberg.