US denies Assange's vendetta accusations

US denies Assange's vendetta accusations

The United States is accusing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of making "wild assertions" about an alleged vendetta against him.

He's holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after being granted political asylum - and is fighting extradition to Sweden regarding sexual assault allegations.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says it is wrong for him to try to deflect attention.

"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," she said.

Her comments were in response to Assange's defiant call to Washington to “renounce its witch-hunt” against his organisation yesterday.

The Australian appeared on the embassy’s balcony – the first time he has been seen for two months – and urged the US government to “reaffirm the revolutionary values it was founded on”.

Mr Assange also thanked Ecuador for taking a “stand for justice” in giving him political asylum.

The decision has led to a diplomatic stand-off involving Ecuador, Sweden and the British government, which insists it is legally obliged to hand him over.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague has made it clear Mr Assange will not be allowed safe passage out of the country.

Mr Assange denies the allegations and fears being transferred to America if he travels to contest them.

He enraged the US government in 2010 when WikiLeaks published tranches of secret US diplomatic cables.

Mr Assange today thanked Ecuador and other helpful South American nations and supporters around the world, plus his family, including his children “who have been denied their father”.

He said: “Forgive me, we will be reunited soon.”

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