America, and not Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is to blame for the release of diplomatic U.S. Cables, says the Australian foreign minister, Kenn Rudd. Supporters of Australian citizen Assange, who is currently under arrest in Britain for alleged sex crimes in Sweden, are calling for the Australian government to step in and do more to help.
Assange has denied the charges and says that they are politically motivated. The Daily Mail appeared to back up this claim, running a story suggesting that the Wikileaks founder was caught out in a “honeypot” trap.
Australian journalist John Pilger has led Assange supporters calling for the government to intervene and prevent his extradition.
Pilger said that Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s assertion that WikiLeaks’ document release was “illegal” had tainted Mr Assange’s character and would damage his chance of a fair trial.
“It’s particularly outrageous that the prime minister of Australia should join what has become a kind of international lynch mob and make such a defamatory statement in which she said that … the release of documents was illegal,” said Pilger.
“There is political motivation here. As far as we are concerned today, there is an injustice awaiting Mr Assange in Sweden.”
Australia’s foreign minister Kenn Rudd said that Assange has been offered consular assistance.
Rudd also claimed that the release of sensitive diplomatic documents was the fault of the U.S. and not of Wikileaks and its founder.
“Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the US diplomatic communications network. The Americans are responsible for that.
“I think there are real questions to be asked about the adequacy of [the US] security systems and the level of access that people have had to that material.”
Assange was denied bail at Westminster Magistrates Court despite socialite Jemima Khan, film director Ken Loach, and journalist John Pilger offering £180,000 in sureties.
Assange is thought to be in the vulnerable prisoners unit at HMP Wandworth.