Feeds

Assange ambushes Australian Prime Minister on live TV

Asks if she should be tried for treason

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard denied supplying information about WikiLeaks staff to the US government after founder Julian Assange confronted her on live television and suggested she be tried for treason.

The ambush happened during an interview with the Australian leader aired live on that country's public network ABC. With no prior warning, the broadcaster showed a video of Assange asking a pointed question. Dressed in a suit and tie, he said his staff has uncovered evidence her government has exchanged information with foreign powers about Australian citizens who worked for WikiLeaks.

“So prime minister, my question to you is this: When will you come clean about precisely what information you have supplied to foreign powers about Australian citizens working or affiliated with WikiLeaks?” he asked. “And if you cannot give a full and frank answer to that question, should perhaps the Australian people consider charging you with treason?”

Gillard was unflappable, but her response also provided her with plenty of wiggle room.

“On the exchange of information that he's talking about, I honestly don't know what he's talking about, so I'm afraid I can't help him with full and frank disclosures,” she said. “I don't know anything about exchanging information about people who work for WikiLeaks. To my knowledge it hasn't happened.”

She went on to say that her government regularly shares intelligence with United States officials.

“It's part of our alliance, and it's in the best interests of this country,” she said.

AFP later quoted Australian Foreign Minster Kevin Rudd denying Assange's claim, but his statement was also open to interpretation.

“I am not aware of seeing any such material myself,” Rudd was quoted as saying.

ABC gave Assange a “no-strings attached invitation” to question Gillard and gave the prime minister no advanced knowledge of the arrangement, according to The Australian.

An Australian citizen, Assange has been critical of Gillard's government for not doing more to shield him from US investigators trying to prove the WikiLeaks founder was complicit in the in the suspected leaking of thousands of classified diplomatic cables by Pfc. Bradley Manning. The former US Army intelligence analyst was recently charged with 22 additional crimes, including aiding the enemy, an offense that carries the death penalty.

Asked if she would guarantee Assange wouldn't be extradited to the US where he might face similar charges, Gillard said:

“Once again, we're doing hypotheticals on hypotheticals here, but policy-wise, we do not extradite people who could be subject to the death penalty. It's not a question of Mr. Assange or not Mr. Assange. That's Australian policy. We just don't.”

Assange remains under house arrest in Britain pending his appeal of last month's decision by a London court that he be extradited to Sweden to answer questions in sex assault investigation. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.