Corruption

Wikileaks: Australia Censorship Order Blocked Reporting on Multinational Corruption Scandal

Also involving Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam

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Today Wikileaks released what it says is a suppression order (PDF) by the Supreme Court of the Australia state of Victoria to prevent reporting on a multinational corruption scandal involving Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam, because, the government argued, news of the case would damage Australia's international relations. The order listed 17 individuals who held high office in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam including every current and former living prime minister, the president of Indonesia, and the president of Vietnam, among others, who could not be named in reporting on the corruption case.

"With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public," Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said in a statement released by Wikileaks.  "This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government." Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning related to sex crime charges. Assange fears once in Swedish custody (or British custody first) he will be turned over to the American government to be prosecuted for espionage crimes he's accused of by the U.S.