The U.S. State Department has accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of sidestepping the real issues surrounding his legal predicaments even as a key Labor figure sounded off grave concerns on the prospect of the Australian national getting a fair trial in the United States.
"(Mr Assange) is clearly trying to deflect attention away from the real issue, which is whether he's going to face justice in Sweden, which is the immediate issue," Reuters reported State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland as saying on late Monday.
Ms Nuland was reacting to the whistleblower's allegations, made public Sunday by Mr Assange at the balcony of Ecuador's London embassy, which painted Washington on a witch hunt campaign against WikiLeaks and everyone attached with the anti-secrecy website.
He spoke out following Quito's decision last week to grant him political asylum, siding with his claims that U.S. authorities were out to punish him for the leaked diplomatic cables posted online by WikiLeaks.
The documents were reportedly sourced by WikiLeaks from a U.S. army officer, who now awaits trial for his actions, and mostly bared confidential dispatches from American diplomats stationed in U.S. embassies around the world.
The State Department, however, asserted that the legal problems hounding Mr Assange were not within the realm of authorities by Washington, with Ms Nuland insisting that the sexual assault charges that the former hacker must face were matters "between the UK and Sweden."
She noted too that Ecuador is now part of the picture for the 'aid' it extended to Mr Assange but the spokeswoman also faulted Quito for forcing a 'sideshow issue' into the business agenda of the Organization of American States (OAS).
"We have very important business that we do in the OAS that has to do with the strength and health and democracy in the region," Ms Nuland said in a news briefing.
Meanwhile, Labor Senator Doug Cameron has expressed deep doubts on the likelihood that Mr Assange will be accorded fair justice in the event he ends up in the United States, where some U.S. politicians demanded that the Aussie national be executed for sedition and espionage.
In an interview with ABC, Senator Cameron did not hide his distaste for such calls from quarters that he described as "lunatic politicians in the U.S."
He further stressed that there was not an oversight on his part for Mr Assange to face up with his legal woes but he admitted that his view on the matter differed strongly when compared with the general sentiments of his Labor colleagues and of Australia's overall political landscape.
Mr Assange has been critical of his nation's authorities, accusing them of insufficient assistance and protection that were normally accorded to Australian citizens.
Senator Cameron told ABC that he shared the view that Mr Assange should allow the legal process to takes its due course, insisting that "he should face them (rape cases)."
"But he should face them on the basis that he can face those charges and not be extradited and not face some of those lunatic politicians in the US that want him hung, drawn, and quartered," the senior Labor member clarified.
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