FOREIGN MINISTER Bob Carr has told the Labor caucus that Australia has intervened on behalf of Julian Assange more than 60 times during the WikiLeaks founder’s legal wrangle with Sweden.
Senator Carr was asked about Mr Assange, who has taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, during Tuesday’s caucus meeting.
Ecuador has granted Mr Assange diplomatic asylum on the grounds that if he were extradited from Britain to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes, he may later be transferred to the United States.
If that happened, Mr Assange could face life in prison or the death penalty over his website’s release of classified US documents.
The Australian Greens have been urging the Australian government to offer more consular assistance to Mr Assange.
Senator Carr said Australia had intervened on Mr Assange’s behalf 62 times since the dispute began, more representations than were offered to any other Australian in that period of time.
He also said Sweden had very strong views about extradition for what could be a capital offence and would not take such action. – AAP