KUALA LUMPUR, July 30:
Controversial site WikiLeaks has alleged that a gag order was issued in Australia to block reporting of any corruption cases involving several political leaders in the region, The Guardian reported.
According to the report, the prohibition, issued by the criminal division of the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne, emerged from a criminal case in their courts and applies throughout the country.
In a statement found on WikiLeaks.org, it was alleged that the censorship prohibits the naming of 17 individuals who were “the current and past heads of states in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam, their relatives and senior officials”.
It claimed that the super injunction invoked “national security” grounds to prevent reporting about the case by anyone in a bid to “prevent damage to Australia’s international relations”.
“The court-issued gag order follows the secret 19 June 2014 indictment of seven senior executives from subsidiaries of Australia’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA),” claimed WikiLeaks.
It also claimed that the case had to do with allegations of multi-million dollar inducements made by agents of the Securency and Note Printing Australia, a subsidiary of RBA.
The inducements would secure contracts for the supply of Australian-style polymer bank notes to the governments of Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, according to WikiLeaks.
Alleging that the ban blocked out the “largest high-level corruption case in Australia and the region”, WikiLeaks also claimed that the ban prohibited the publication of the order as well as an affidavit affirmed by Australia’s representative to Asean, Gillian Bird.
Bird was also said to have recently been appointed Australia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
“The concept of ‘national security’ is not meant to serve as a blanket phrase to cover up serious corruption allegations involving government officials, in Australia or elsewhere.
“It is in the public interest for the press to be able to report on this case, which concerns the subsidiaries of the Australian central bank,” said WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange.