Wikileaks head cites defamation of character and subsequent hardship
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/19/2012 -- Wikileaks President Julian Assange is reportedly looking into the possibility of suing the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for defamation of character.
The claim would be in regards to the prime minister claiming that WikiLeaks acted “illegally” in its leaking of 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables.
Assange stated that Ms. Gillard’s comments were utilized the Mastercard Australia financial blockade of his organization. The White House and the Gillard government condemned the release of the documents since their 2010 release.
''I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website. It's a grossly irresponsible thing to do, and an illegal thing to do,'' MS Gillard said several days after WikiLeaks began releasing the cables.
GetUp!, an Australian activist group, interviewed Assange in his temporary home inside the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been forced to stay in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden. Assange is accused for sexual assault charges stemming back to previous years. A charge he claims is part of a larger conspiracy to defame him and bring him in on other charges, such as espionage, which are pursued by the U.S. and other governments.
Assange asserted that Wikileaks was held back in its efforts by Ms. Gillard’s comments.
“Mastercard Australia, in justifying why it has made a blockade preventing any Australian Mastercard holder from donating to Wikileaks, used that statement by Julia Gillard as justification,'' Assange said.
''So the effects of the statement are ongoing and they directly affect the financial viability of WikiLeaks,'' Assange said. ''We are considering suing for defamation. So I have hired lawyers in Sydney and they are investigating the different ways in which we can sue Gillard over that statement.''
Assange stated the damaging remarks allowed for other forms of attack against the Wikileaks company, giving them “license” as he put it. He also cited the fact he family has had to move multiple times, and his children have been forced to change their names, in part due to defamation stemming from such comments.
''For too long the Prime Minister and the foreign ministers have put the interests of the US government ahead of Australian citizens. That is not good enough,'' Mr. McLean said.
''Our government must demand a binding agreement from the US that they will not seek the extradition of this Australian citizen for his work as a journalist and publisher.
''GetUp! members expect the government to stand up for all Australians, even when it is not politically convenient.''
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