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WikiLeaks founder may sue Oz PM Gillard for defamation

December 7, 2010 - Melbourne

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is reported to be considering the option of suing Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard for defamation.

Gillard has accused the embattled Australian of "illegal" conduct over his mass leak of secret US documents. Those comments were made outside parliament and hence not subject to parliamentary privilege.

Assange's British solicitor, Mark Stephens, told The Australian that his client would seek formal consular assistance from Australian authorities in Britain and Sweden.

Stephens, however, declined to say where his client was, but added that both British and Swedish authorities could contact him for questioning any time they chose.

The comments came as WikiLeaks yesterday released a list of critical assets around the world that if attacked would directly hurt US interests.

Assets in Australia include nickel and magnesium mines, an undersea telecommunications cable, a medical injection and an antidote for rattlesnake bites.

Australia's Attorney General, Robert McClelland has condemned the release of the asset list as well as the growing flood of other leaked documents.

"The publication of the documents that we're seeing is incredibly irresponsible and reprehensible," he said.


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