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Assange faces arrest over cables' release

world Updated: Sep 03, 2011 11:56 IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could face arrest in his native Australia as a result of the organization's decision to publish its entire cache of 251,000 unredacted US diplomatic cables.

The Guardian quoted Australian attorney general Robert McClelland as saying in a statement, that the cables identify at least one person working for the country's intelligence service.

He also said that publishing any information that could lead to the identification of an intelligence officer is a criminal offence in the country.

"I am aware of at least one cable in which an ASIO officer is purported to have been identified," the paper quoted McClelland, as saying.

"ASIO and other government agencies officers are working through the material to see the extent of the impact on Australian interests," he said.

"On occasions before this week, WikiLeaks redacted identifying features where the safety of individuals or national security could be put at risk. It appears this hasn't occurred with documents that have been distributed across the Internet this week and this is extremely concerning," he added.

The whistle-blowing organization published its entire cache of US diplomatic cables without redactions to protect those named within.

The move was condemned by all five of the whistleblowing website's media partners-the Guardian, New York Times, El País, Der Spiegel and Le Monde.

The newly published archive contains over 1,000 cables identifying individual activists, several thousand labelled with a tag used by the US to mark sources it believes could be placed in danger, and over 150 specifically mentioning whistleblowers.

The cables also contain references to people persecuted by their governments, victims of sex offences, and locations of sensitive government installations and infrastructure, the paper said.