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Wikileaks’ legal status should be fixed in Australia

Senate pushes for PM to retract prejudicial statements
Tue Oct 09 2012, 15:13

THE AUSTRALIAN SENATE is making moves to ensure than the legality of what whisteblowing organisation Wikileaks does is protected.

In a statement today the Senate said that it has "insisted" that the Prime Minister retract "prejudicial" statements made against the organisation following a request from Australian Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam.

The demand for a retraction follows statements made in late 2010 when the Prime Minister said that the work carried out by Wikileaks was illegal. Since then the Australian police have ruled differently. That being the case, said Ludlam, the Prime Minister should say so.

"Prime Minister Gillard should retract the statement she made on the 2 December 2010 and 7 December 2010. The PM claimed the work of WikiLeaks is illegal. Subsequently the Australian Federal Police investigation found WikiLeaks had broken no Australian laws. This is the second time the Senate has voted to recognise the legality of the work done by WikiLeaks," he said.

"The Prime Minister must retract her inaccurate claims about this organisation and its staff. Senior political figures in the United States have also made statements that seriously jeopardise the potential for any fair trial or hearing for Mr Assange. The Prime Minister should demonstrate that she does not support the sham trial by media being cooked up for Mr Assange in the US, by retracting her claims about WikiLeaks."

The original criticisms kicked off the financial blockade against Wikileaks that saw various payment providers withdraw support. Assange's reputation, and the work of Wikileaks, is supported by Australian political activist group Getup.

In an interview with Getup, Assange said that Mastercard Australia has used Gillard's statement to justify its block. He added that he had hired lawyers to look into the legality of the statement. µ


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