Sydney: The Julia Gillard Government in Australia has renewed its attacks on WikiLeaks, slamming the whistle blowing website for its ‘reckless, and dangerous’ disclosures of secret information.
The Australian Foreign Affairs Department has also reportedly delayed release of sensitive Australian diplomatic cables relating to website founder Julian Assange until after a legal challenge to his extradition to Sweden has been decided.
The delay comes after United States authorities raised concerns about disclosure of US-Australian discussions about WikiLeaks, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to the paper, last week an Attorney-General`s Department executive responsible for international crime and extradition matters renewed the government`s condemnation of WikiLeaks` release of leaked US diplomatic cables as ‘reckless, irresponsible and potentially dangerous’.
Writing on behalf of Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to a constituent of a federal Labor MP, international crime co-operation branch head Anna Harmer insisted that ‘debate about the WikiLeaks matter is not about censoring free speech or preventing the media from reporting news’.
Harmer also confirmed the government`s focus on the ‘reckless, unauthorised disclosure of classified material’.
Meanwhile, Assange, who has announced his plans to run for Australian Senate in the next election, is awaiting a British Supreme Court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden to be questioned about sexual assault allegations.
According to the report, Assange fears extradition to Stockholm will lead to extradition to the US on espionage or conspiracy charges.
He also expressed concern that a successful appeal against extradition to Sweden would only be followed by the US seeking his extradition direct from Britain.