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Australian FM Says U.S. To Blame For WikiLeaks Dump

Australia's Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, says Assange is not responsible for the release of the American diplomatic cables.
Australia's foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, has said the U.S. is to blame for the release of thousands of diplomatic cables on Wikileaks, not its Australian founder, Julian Assange.

"Mr. Assange is not himself responsible for the unauthorized release of a quarter of a million documents from the U.S. diplomatic communications network," Rudd stressed. "The Americans are responsible for that."

Rudd said Assange must be presumed innocent, and that Australia would support him as it would any Australian arrested abroad.

Assange is charged in Sweden with sexual assault but denies the charges and may be extradited to Sweden.

The U.S. has begun a criminal investigation and vowed to punish anyone found responsible for illegal leaks.

Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens, has claimed the charges are "politically motivated."

A Wikileaks spokesman said the arrest was an attack on media freedom and pledged to continue publishing.

compiled from agency reports