U.S. refutes Julian Assange charge that WikiLeaks subject to witch-hunt
United States Department of State spokesperson Victoria Nuland on Monday totally dismissed the allegation Julian Assange leveled from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London that the Obama administration is on a witch-hunt on WikiLeaks and its founder Assange.
However, under media scrutiny at the State department daily briefing in Washington Ms. Nuland echoing previous US statements declined comment on the scope of US prosecution over WikiLeaks.
Mr. Assange in his first appearance after many months using the Ecuadorian mission's balcony accused the United States of pursuing him after his website angered Washington by publishing thousands of sensitive diplomatic cables that exposed US relations with other nations and embarrassing comments in those that often ruptured relations with some nations.
State Department spokeswoman said that the United States had nothing to do with efforts by Britain to extradite Assange, who is wanted for questioning by Sweden on allegations of rape and molestation.
“He is making all kinds of wild assertions about us when in fact his issue with the government of the United Kingdom has to do with whether he’s going to face justice in Sweden for something that has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, it has to do with charges of sexual misconduct,” Nuland told reporters.
“He is clearly trying to deflect attention away from the real issue, which is whether he’s going to face justice in Sweden,” she told reporters.
“That case has nothing to do with us. It’s a matter between the UK, Sweden and now Ecuador has inserted itself,” she said.
“I ask President (Barack) Obama to do the right thing — the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks,” the 41-year-old Australian told some 200 supporters and hordes of journalists from the embassy balcony.
Assange has spent two months inside the embassy, which occupies a small part of a red-brick mansion block in an upscale section of London. British authorities could arrest him if he steps outside.
- Asian Tribune -