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Rudd Defends Assange’s Rights

  • December 9th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

rudd.jpgThe Australia Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd (picture), says the United States was itself responsible for its failure to keep its diplomatic records secure, and he is defending the right of Julian Assange to fair dealing under the law.

“Mr Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorised release of 250,000 documents from the US diplomatic communications network …”, Mr Rudd told Australian television (7.12.10).

“He has in my view complete entitlement to an assumption of innocence under the law.

“Core responsibility lies with the release of an unauthorised nature of this material by United States personnel.”

He said Wikilinks’ decision to take on and pass around the leaked material was a secondary case that warranted separate treatment.

The Foreign Minister and former Prime Minister was named in the American diplomatic cables leaked through the Wikilinks organisation, headed by the Australian journalist and former computer hacker Julian Assange.

A dispatch among the documents said Mr Rudd as PM was impulsive with “control freak” tendencies.

The initial response of the Australian government to the massive leaking event was to condemn Mr Assange, with talk of cancelling his passport.

However with his arrest in London, under a warrant from Swedish authorities accusing him of sexual offences, the issue of the man’s rights has come into question.

That is especially so with fears of “rendition”; pressure coming from many quarters in the United States to find a way to extradite him there for prosecution, even on a capital charge of treason.

The Australian High Commission in London is offering him consular assistance as the Swedish extradition case is being processed.

In the meantime computer hackers have begun creating major nuisance in a global campaign, attacking financial or online service companies that have cancelled dealings with Wikipedia; as they believe, at the request of United States authorities.
See EUAustralia Online, “The hunt after Wikilinks and Julian Assange”, 8.12.10.