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Huge claim for Aussie papers publishing Wikileaks about Yudhoyono JAKARTA - Two Australian newspapers that published articles last Friday accusing Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of abusing power and influencing judges based on leaked cables obtained from Wikileaks were sued for $1 billion on Tuesday.

Last Friday, Australia's The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, using Wikileaks' sources of diplomatic notes sent by the U.S. Embassy to Washington, D.C., published articles saying Yudhoyono abused power by influencing judges and prosecutors to protect corrupt but allied politicians, as well as spying on political rivals with the use of state intelligence.

In addition, the articles claimed First Lady Ani Yudhoyono helped her close family members gain wealth through political connections.

On Tuesday, the Federation of National Enterprise United Workers Union filed a civil lawsuit against the papers at the Central Jakarta District Court on behalf of Tri Sasono, Sunardi, Ahmad Surono and Suparto, the Jakarta Globe reported. The suit demands the newspapers pay $1 billion in damages.

In addition, they are demanding the papers to publish an apology to the Indonesia people in a full page for three consecutive days, arguing that they have given Indonesia a reputation of being a corrupt country.

Indonesian officials last Friday, including Foreign Affairs Minister Natalegawa, called on the U.S. Government to clarify the content of the leaked diplomatic cables, which they considered 'raw' and without confirmed validity.

Following the publication, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta responded by regretting the leaked cables, but it stated that the U.S. Department of State does not comment on materials, including classified documents, which may have been leaked. 

"However, as the Secretary of State has said, the United States deeply regrets the disclosure of any information that was intended to be confidential, including private discussions between counterparts or our diplomats' personal assessments and observations," the Embassy said, adding that their official foreign policy is not set through these messages, but in Washington.

The Embassy's statement continued by condemning the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by Wikileaks, saying they have "harmful implications for the lives of identified individuals that are jeopardized, but also for global engagement among and between nations." 

"While we cannot speak to the authenticity of any documents provided to the press, we can speak to the diplomatic community's practice of cable writing," the statement continued.

"By its very nature, field reporting to Washington is candid and often raw information. It is preliminary, often incomplete and unsubstantiated. It is not an expression of policy, nor does it always shape final policy decisions. These documents should not be seen as having standing on their own or as representing U.S. policy."


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Related blog entries (category 'Politics') Tags: newspapers, Australian, claim, huge, Wikileaks


Posted in Politics @ 15 March 2011 15:59 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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