Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been left floundering after she labelled the actions of the WikiLeaks 'illegal', but couldn't say how.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has been slammed for labelling the actions of the WikiLeaks website and its founder Julian Assange 'illegal', as the slow but steady publication of classified documents continues.
Ms Gillard has described the website as "illegal" but when directly asked what Australian laws it was breaking, she was unable to identify any.
"The foundation stone of it is an illegal act," Ms Gillard told reporters on Tuesday.
The "foundation stone" was the leaking of the documents to the website, not the publishing of the cables.
"It would not happen, information would not be on WikiLeaks, if there had not been an illegal act undertaken," Ms Gillard said.
It has been widely reported the man behind previous leaks of classified documents, Private Bradley Manning, is likely responsible for this latest leak of more than 250,000 classified documents from the United States State Department.
Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis chastised Ms Gillard for her "clumsy" language on the issue.
"As far as I can see he (Mr Assange) hasn't broken any Australian law," he told Sky News.
"Nor does it appear he has broken any American laws."
Unrelated Interpol charges
In an unrelated matter Mr Assange is wanted by Interpol in relation to allegations of sexual assault in Sweden.
This charge has been vigorously denied by the former hacker turned activist.
Mr Assange is expected to soon talk to Scotland Yard.
"I can't disclose his whereabouts but he certainly can be contacted through us and ... we are having that communication with the police at present," Jennifer Robinson, one of Mr Assange's legal team, told ABC Television.
"As we have maintained the entire time and as demonstrated by his numerous voluntary offers for co-operation with Swedish prosecuting authorities, he is very keen to clear his name," Ms Robinson said.
The controversial website was still being supported by a Swiss server on Tuesday after being dumped by previous server Amazon because of legal concerns.
Late Tuesday morning it had published 913 of a promised 251,287 cables.
The latest published cables relating to Australia name some critical US infrastructure based in Sydney and Victoria.
A Victorian mine that produces metallurgical grade nickel and a Melbourne-based company that produces snake antivenom were named in the cable.