2011-02-08 UPDATE Australian attorney general responds to open letter to PM Gillard re Assange

The Australian attorney general's response to an open letter to the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard re Julian Assange

Australian Attorney General

[2011-02-02 Open letter to the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard re Julian Assange]

Dear Prime Minister

The world notes again your comments on Julian Assange reported in the Sydney Morning Herald, February 2nd 2011.

It is pleasing that you would welcome him back to Australia but your statement that the government cannot do anything to assist him in that regard is not strictly correct and springs from a factual error in you saying “They are charges and they've got to be worked through proper process.” Prime Minister, in brief these are the relevant facts and applicable law:

1) Mr Assange has not ever been charged by Sweden or anybody else.
2) The Swedish authorities have initiated an extradition process which is contrary to the European Arrest Warrant (“EAW”) system in that they want him back in Sweden for the purposes of investigation, not explicitly to charge him.
3) The EAW is a fast track extradition process between EU member states brought into effect to allow decisions to be made between EU judicial systems, not between politicians.

The European arrest warrant is a judicial decision issued by a Member State with a view to the arrest and surrender by another Member State of a requested person, for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order.

Note Prime Minister, that UK explanatory document above extracted from EAW law says criminal prosecution, not criminal investigation, and you may recall that in Australian law, and in many other parts of the world, police can only hold a suspect for a limited time (eg NSW four hours plus time-outs) for the purposes of investigation only.

Extradition for the stated purpose of investigation only is not only an abuse of the EAW system, it is also an abuse of Mr Assange’s human rights and brings in an arguable political dimension to the prosecution itself, contrary to the EAW’s legal prohibitions.

You will also note the political dimensions of prosecutorial forum shopping in Mr Assange’s case: what one Swedish prosecutor dropped, another was pursuaded to reopen by a Swedish politician, Mr Claes Borgström.

Sweden’s prosecutor Ms Ny, according to Mr Assange’s counsel, has apparently indicated that her intention is to hold Mr Assange in Sweden for the purposes of investigation, incommunicado, which means no bail allowed and Mr Assange would be without access to visitors legal or otherwise: this apparently is a matter of her own stated policy in sexual allegation matters.

This is an intended breach of Mr Assanges’s human rights, should he be extradited, on top of another, the original breach of Swedish law, of their prosecutors releasing/confirming his name and the allegations to the Swedish media in 2010.

Prime Minister, when an Australian national’s human rights are being trampled upon abroad, citizens expect our government to say or do something about it. It is not simply a matter of letting another nation’s legal processes continue when clearly they are abusive.

It is likewise no longer a matter of pandering to the interests of the USA and allowing Australian citizens to be tortured as was Mamdouh Habib, by the recently promoted Vice President of Egypt no less, a matter that on legal suit by Mr Habib it is noted that the Australian government settled out of court recently with Commonwealth taxpayers money.

While Sweden is by no means North Korea, would the Australian government keep silent on abuse of human rights, of an Australian citizen, prepetrated by the latter?

Lastly, Prime Minister, you drew a distinction between the “moral force” of whistleblowing and indicated that Wikileaks was “not about making a moral case.”

Wikileaks supporters would invite you Prime Minister, for example, to view the video “Collateral Murder” and consider whether or not Wikileaks was making a moral case against prima facie war crimes and/or crimes against humanity.

We urge you Prime Minister to make the appropriate complaints to the Swedish government of their prosecutorial abusive treatment of Julian Assange, contrary to Swedish and European Human Rights law.

Yours Faithfully
Peter H Kemp
Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.

The Prime Minister can be contacted here:

WLCentral fixed spam filter temporarily!

Thank u to WLCentral for facilitating my post.. I understand ur disabling of ur spam filter even for a short time (after contacting ur admin:)has left this site vulnerable & I am grateful for the chance to show my unwavering support to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks :)
I will share this with other supporters. I can only hope u do the same for them, in any case I emailed the PMs office directly thru their website, adding this link and my response.. and will do so again !
..but also to my local representative..Thanks again :D

Legally aware?

Thank you firstly,
For the opportunity to share and reply to these documents.
I am sure Prime Minister Julia Gillard is well aware of her, and the Australian Governments legal obligations when it comes to this case, and the ramifications of which are substantially hard to fathom, so it has been thrown into the 'too hard' safe, locked, and the key? ..well..let's say the key is safely in PM Gillards hands..& mouth.
I was appalled at the legally contradictory, as well as explosive, comments on public record(as well as murderous comments made by other prominent politicians abroad), it should seem quite obvious to many that this Government is now afraid of angering the 'world stage' by standing up for the rights of our own citizens. Afraid to 'anger the bully', so to speak.
So, legally, and without causing world opinion to favour Julian Assange and Wikileaks, what are 'they' going to do to about it Julia?
they will fight for him, and YOU will say "NO!"...why?
because is it not legal, 'He' has committed no crime.. you know this, and you know WHY!
So I, and a great number of like-minded peoples around the world, implore and motivate you to re-awaken the Lawyer inside you once again, and maybe you can be remembered for doing something morally just, internationally recognised, and crucial for the sake of our own int. legal standing...
But also understanding that, in doing nothing, a legal precedent is also being set! It would be far more favourable to take the necessary action that is becoming more plain to see every day..!
A brighter light must be shone on this circus of illegal proceedings... and timing is critical..
Are you that light Julia? Of course you are! U know the LAW..
This should NOT be happening to anyone...an ankle bracelet? without charge?
It smells Ms Prime Minister..it really really stinks..and we know you not only smell it..You know where it's coming from! ;)
Please, just bring him home.. History will be gratefully re-written, and our futures altered in a way you could never foresee..really !
Thank you..you will see :D

This is a form letter...

I got the exact same letter in response to my letter to Julia Gillard.

Oh yeah, and if the Government isn't going to engage on a running commentary on Wikileaks, how about Julia Gillard shuts up? Or at least gets her facts straight - not illegal under Australian law, not charged with rape, Julia.

I tore my reply up and put it in the compost bin. I recommend Peter does the same, at least the paper will go to a good use.

Talk to the hand

Hi Peter, the Government response reads like an identical response I received a few weeks back to a letter I sent to the PM in December. If only I hadn't of binned it in disgust, we could have lined up both responses side by side!

My letter to the PM read: "As reported by the mainstream media, you said today you hoped that people would "as a matter of common sense, understand how grossly unacceptable" it was to publish critical infrastructure lists.

May I bring to your attention that the Australian Government, through Geoscience Australia, publishes in far more detail than that reported in the recent Wikileak cable, a list of critical infrastructure locations including latitude and longitude positions of many of Australia's "high value" assets. This list includes power stations, gas pipelines, chemical processing plants etc. This infrastructure list has been available to the public for many years, and to date, there has been no terrorist incident.

In light of the critical infrastructure details already published by the Australian government, your comments today with regard to the sensitivity of the Wikileaks critical infrastructure cable are misleading and deceptive... etc"

Now I'm sure I'm not alone in knowing who I will NOT be voting for next election.

Cowardly government

Why will the government "not be engaging in running commentary on the wikileaks matter or the legal proceedings against mr assange"? Clearly it is of importance to Australians and many people all around the world. And the fact they only state about the leaks of the US government documents - why are other countries not included in this if they feel there has been a wrong doing?

I think this letter is very telling and transparent as to who they stand by in this case and they intend to sweep it under the carpet. It's shameful.

no surprise

I suppose someone should state the obvious: that was a response to the open letter, but not a reply, as it failed to address Kemp's points.

You need to fix your spam

You need to fix your spam filter. Suffice to say Mr Kemp's suggestion is silly

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