Australian diplomats believe the US is targeting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for possible prosecution, according to documents obtained by a newspaper.

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The Australian embassy in Washington is taking seriously the possibility Assange could eventually be extradited to the US on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, Fairfax newspapers report.

The embassy has been keeping tabs on a US investigation into WikiLeaks and Assange for more than 18 months and cites media reports about the empanelment of a grand jury to pursue the WikiLeaks case, according to declassified cables released under Freedom of Information and obtained by Fairfax.

The view expressed in the cables conflicts with Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s public statements on the Australian’s possible fate.

Fairfax reports the cables also show that the Australian government requested early advice from the US on any decision to indict or seek extradition of Assange.

The Australian embassy in Washington is taking seriously the possibility Assange could eventually be extradited to the US on charges including espionage and conspiracy relating to the release of classified information by WikiLeaks, Fairfax newspapers report.

The embassy has been keeping tabs on a US investigation into WikiLeaks and Assange for more than 18 months and cites media reports about the empanelment of a grand jury to pursue the WikiLeaks case, according to declassified cables released under Freedom of Information and obtained by Fairfax.

The view expressed in the cables conflicts with Foreign Minister Bob Carr’s public statements on the Australian’s possible fate.

Fairfax reports the cables also show that the Australian government requested early advice from the US on any decision to indict or seek extradition of Assange.