Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr believes the US has given up its pursuit of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is unlikely to seek his extradition on espionage charges.
Carr,however,said his department has delayed and blocked the release of documents that would show what the government knows about the US espionage investigation into the WikiLeaks publisher.
The Foreign Minister said yesterday that if the Obama administration was keen on seeking Assange,it would have made an extradition request to Britain over the past two years,which it did not do.
Carr was quoted as saying by the Age newspaper that the Obama administration had given up its pursuit of Assange for releasing hundreds of thousands of classified US military and diplomatic reports.
“I’m not surprised that the Justice Department is not declaring the case closed… But if this were a priority for the (Obama) administration you would have seen legal action when very easily,very readily they would have been in a position to have taken it,” he said.
Carr was being questioned about renewed calls by the chairwoman of the US Senate intelligence oversight committee,Senator Dianne Feinstein,for Assange to be prosecuted for espionage.
“All the indications I’ve picked up from the public statements of US officials including the American ambassador in Australia is that they are a long way from having made a decision about this,” Carr said.
“I’d be surprised if they were to pursue it… I am simply not persuaded that this is something actively engaging the Americans,” he said.
Assange is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after seeking political asylum from the country.