THE Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has said he will not be raising the matter of Julian Assange when he meets with his Swedish counterpart in meetings next week in contradiction to an alleged promise made to the Greens to address the issue.
Fairfax have reported they have seen a written undertaking provided by Mr Carr to Greens Senator Scott Ludlam on 8 February stating he would seek diplomatic assurances from the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt concerning the possible prosecution of Mr Assange in Sweden.
However Senator Carr’s office has now stated that Mr Assange’s case will not be on agenda when the two foreign ministers met in Canberra on Wednesday.
The decision comes after WikiLeaks founder Mr Assange confirmed he would be running as a Victorian Senate candidate for the newly formed WikiLeaks Party in the September federal elections.
Mr Assange is currently confined to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he has sought political asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden.
He is wanted in Sweden for questioning about sexual assault allegations. Mr Assange has claimed extradition to Sweden would facilitate his extradition to the US where he may face conspiracy and espionage charges arising from the release on WikiLeaks of secret US documents.
In Mr Carr’s letter to Mr Ludlam he had said he would gain further assurances from his Swedish counterpart that Mr Assange would be subject to due process in Sweden.
”The Australian Government has on several occasions sought and subsequently received assurances from Swedish authorities that Mr Assange would receive due legal process in any proceedings against him in Sweden,” Senator Carr wrote on 8 February.
”I would expect to renew our request for such assurances at my next meeting with my Swedish counterpart.”
A post on Facebook from Senator Ludlam in reference to the story said “but hang on I have it in writing” and “…there must be some mistake”. It appears this is a reference to Mr Carr’s apparent back flip on the issue.