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AFP To Investigate Cablegate

AFP To Investigate Cablegate - Canberra has refused to offer a safe haven to WikiLeaks' Australian founder Julian Assange after the website began releasing 251,287 confidential US State Department documents.
And Australian Federal Police are investigating whether the leaking of hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables broke Australian law.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland said yesterday the Australian Federal Police is examining whether revealing 250,000 confidential diplomatic cables could be criminal.

"From Australia's point of view we think there are potentially a number of criminal laws that could have been breached," Mr McClelland said.

"The Australian Federal Police are looking at that."

A defence taskforce which had been monitoring Wikileaks would become a "whole-of-government taskforce", Mr McClelland said.

The taskforce was set up in July to investigate the implications of the release of some 400,000 US military documents on Iraq.

Although the taskforce recently reported Australian interests had not been damaged, Defence Minister Stephen Smith warned that this time things could be different.

"The early indicators were that we were hopeful no great or any damage had been done," he told Sky News.

"But in the case of these cables it's a much wider remit."

Mr McClelland stopped short of saying the government was considering cancelling Mr Assange's passport but did not rule it out.

Alongside the growing US desires to nab Mr Assange on security charges, he is wanted in relation to allegations of rape in Sweden.

He has referred to the Swedish charges as "false".

The US is already in damage control over the cables, which were released early to several news publications around the world.

AFP To Investigate Cablegate

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