Aus PM urged to provide consular support to Assange
Sydney: The Australian Senate has urged Prime Minister Julia Gillard to make sure that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is provided with the highest possible level of consular support.
The motion, proposed by Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam, also called on the Gillard administration to retract ‘prejudicial statements’ that claimed Assange had broken the law in publishing secret US diplomatic cables.
Assange’s supporters say his decision to seek sanctuary in Ecuador follows advice from Attorney-General Nicola Roxon that Australia would not expect to be a party to any extradition discussions between the US and UK or the US and Sweden.
According to the Herald Sun, the senator called on Gillard to ensure government efforts were consistent with the highest level of support provided to other Australians.
“This inconsistent or selective application of the consular services charter left Australian citizens in doubt about the level of assistance they might receive if facing difficulties overseas,” Ludlam's motion said.
Assange had sought political asylum in Ecuador in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is facing sex crime allegations.
He fears removal to Sweden could pave the way for extradition to the US to face possible charges over WikiLeaks' release of thousands of diplomatic cables.