'Australia ignored requests by Julian Assange'
Sydney: Australian authorities apparently ignored Julian Assange’s request for diplomatic assistance, including a letter sent as recently as 15 days ago, the lawyer of the WikiLeaks founder has revealed.
Judge Baltasar Garzón Real, who ran a case against Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, said the Australian Government's response to requests for assistance had been ‘entirely negative’.
“A letter has been sent on the part of the defence [of Mr Assange] to diplomatic authorities and the Department of Foreign Affairs of Australia requesting a number of guarantees as well as information,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Garzón, as saying.
“The response has been entirely negative for each and every one of the requests and some 15 days ago we have channelled another communication and request to the Australian authorities and for the time being we have not received a response,” he added.
According to the paper, Garzón refused to divulge the contents of the letter sent to Australian authorities, but said it related to Assange's rights as an Australian citizen not being recognised.
“It's a letter in which a number of issues are being raised in relation to Assange's situation and on the procedure itself,” he said.
“Although Assange has had his passport withheld and he is a refugee at the Ecuadorian embassy, he is indeed a citizen of Australia and has therefore all his rights, although however seemingly they aren't being adhered to,” he added.
The paper also quoted Garzón, as saying that key information relating to the rape allegations facing Assange had been kept secret and would be a "big surprise" when the defence team was able to reveal them.