No US plan of extraditing Assange: Australia

Australian-born Julian Assange has sought political asylum at Ecuador`s embassy in London.

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2012, 16:43 PM IST

Melbourne: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Sunday said there was no indication from the US of a plan to extradite to the country WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange who is currently holed up in Ecuadoran embassy in London.

"There is not the remotest evidence that is the case," he was quoted as saying by the Australian news agency AAP.

Carr said he has received no hint from two discussions with American officials that they have a plan to extradite Assange to the US.

Australian-born 40-year-old Assange has sought political asylum at Ecuador`s embassy in London, fearing he could face the death penalty in the US over the WikiLeaks` release of secret diplomatic cables.

Carr said Assange`s argument was with one government - the Swedish government - who want to question him about sexual assault allegations.
"It`s not about WikiLeaks, it`s not about secrets, it`s not about political persecution," Carr said.

He further said that Australia had made representations to the Swedish government on behalf of Assange.

"There is a view that it would be easier for the US to extradite him from the UK rather than from Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about (matters) wholly unrelated to anything to do with WikiLeaks or state secrets," he said.

Carr said some US authorities had yet to state that they were not interested in extraditing the Australian.

"They haven`t been able to rule out that one corner of the American administration is considering it, but I would expect the US wouldn`t want to touch this," he said, adding the US government knew Australia`s "well worn" position of not wanting Assange extradited from anywhere.

PTI