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Assange slams Sweden after asylum bid

AFP/The Local · 22 Jun 2012, 08:06

Published: 22 Jun 2012 08:06 GMT+02:00

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The former computer hacker told Australia's ABC radio of his fears that he would end up in the hands of the United States, which he says want to try him for divulging American secrets.

But he conceded there was as yet no current US indictment against him.

"Of course not, at the moment the matter is before the grand jury," he told ABC. "Until it comes out of the grand jury there will not be such evidence afforded."

Assange sought asylum on Tuesday in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

He made the bid, he said, because he was not prepared to go to Sweden under the terms in which he believed he would be held there.

"The Swedes announced publicly that they would detain me in prison, without charge, while they continued their so-called investigation," he said.

"We had heard that the Ecuadorians were sympathetic in relation to my struggles and the struggles of the organisation with the United States..."

WikiLeaks enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified US information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables that embarrassed a slew of governments.

Assange said he chose the Ecuadorian embassy ahead of his home country's because he felt Canberra had done nothing to protect him, a charge the government has denied.

"There are serious issues here, and they are being hidden by the slimy rhetoric coming out of the US ambassador to Australia, via (Australian Prime Minister Julia) Gillard... and that needs to stop," said Assange.

Assange will remain inside the embassy while Ecuador considers his request, a process that could take "hours or days", a spokesperson for the whistleblower website said Thursday.

Earlier, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said his government would take its time in deciding whether to grant asylum to the Australian anti-secrecy campaigner.

British police said on Wednesday that because he was no longer staying at his designated bail address, Assange had breached his bail conditions and was now subject to arrest if he left the embassy.

Britain's Foreign Office said however that because Assange was still on diplomatic territory he was "beyond the reach of the police".

Three policeman stood guard Thursday outside Ecuador's embassy, a flat in a mansion block in the upscale Knightsbridge area of central London.

Correa, who was interviewed by Assange for his television show, which airs on Moscow-backed broadcaster Russia Today, indicated that the decision-making process could take some time.

"He (Assange) presented his reasons. We are going to verify them... We will take the time necessary," Correa told AFP, adding that it would be done "with absolute seriousness and absolute responsibility."

The leftist leader, who has often been at odds with Washington, said his government was studying Assange's claim that he could be extradited from Sweden to the United States on political grounds and possibly sentenced to death.

Story continues below…

"Ecuador is a country which defends the right to life. We have to see whether there is a threat to Julian Assange's life," Correa said, speaking on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development Wednesday.

Britain's Supreme Court last week threw out Assange's application to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden after a marathon legal battle.

He has until June 28th to lodge an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, after which the extradition process can begin.

Assange is on £200,000 (€250,000) bail, put up by celebrity supporters including filmmaker Ken Loach and Jemima Khan, the former wife of Pakistan cricket captain turned politician Imran Khan.

The asylum bid is the most dramatic twist yet in a case dating back to December 2010, when Assange was first detained in London on a European arrest warrant.

Anna Alban, the Ecuadorian ambassador, said in a statement Wednesday that she had held "cordial and constructive" talks about the asylum request with Britain's Foreign Office.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:16 June 22, 2012 by klubbnika
What a clown.
12:12 June 22, 2012 by Takea chance onme
What a drama queen! He should man up and go back to Sweden and face the charges.
13:18 June 22, 2012 by ruby_18559
he has not been formally charged... he is running out of options here, bit of a spot to be in vs. the american government. they will try to nail him for sure one way or another. says alot about the different countries & who is willing to help him or not. the only reason he is still alive is because he is such a clown & is so well known, and alot of people believe in wikileaks. cant really see him being safe in ecuador either.
13:29 June 22, 2012 by prince T
his recent behaviour shows that he has something to hide. Even Jemima Khan (white rich british ofcourse) his avid supporter was surprised at his recent actions.

Morevover, Ecuador is not knnown for press freedom and these are people that assange supposed to be exposing. He only shares mutual hatred for america with ecuador.

I wonder if his supporters on this forum will continue to back him up in view of his reckless behaviour. knowing that the only reason for the existence of wikileaks is just to destrroy USA
15:41 June 22, 2012 by Vermaldeehide
It doesn't really sound like any of you have read anything official about wikileaks. Wikileaks is a public service, you should be greatful.

15:51 June 22, 2012 by Dazzler
I would be grateful if someone puts a hole in this pusillanimous' brain pan. If for any reason than to shut him the hell up, whiny limey bastard.
16:35 June 22, 2012 by k2kats
Assange, Julian. Definition: (noun) narcissism.
17:22 June 22, 2012 by bcterry
The real Mr. Assange is emerging.

I believe the above comments appropriately sum it up.
18:15 June 22, 2012 by fansnakkaru
guys, Wikileaks is not a piratesite, it is a site where evidence of corporate, military and government corrouption is exposed. this is GOOD, not BAAD.

also, Assange is NOT charged. he offered to be interrogated in england, but the swedish representants of the law refused. there is no reason for him to come over to sweden.
19:45 June 22, 2012 by bcterry
"Wikileaks is not a piratesite, it is a site where evidence of corporate, military and government corrouption is exposed. this is GOOD, not BAAD."

Wikileaks is a site where ONE MAN had the final authority to pick and choose what, and what not was released for public consumption.

That is BAD and not GOOD.

Do you think there just might be a tiny wee bit of room for the pursuit of a personal agenda and abuse of power?

"he offered to be interrogated in england, but the swedish representants of the law refused."

19:52 June 22, 2012 by Bluecrane
Assange is guilty of making information public to a supposedly free people living in a democracy and because of that the US government is going to get him and make him pay a horrible price. We apparently no longer appreciate freedom and bravery here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It's his life at stake. If he goes to Sweden and faces rather bizarre charges of rape the question comes up about Swedish authorities having been corrupted by the CIA. At least in my opinion, it's a done deal that Assange would unwillingly be carried in chains and head hood to the US and spend the remainder of his life in a cage. So much for my faith in Swedish authorities.
19:55 June 22, 2012 by fansnakkaru

1. your argument is not relevant. those exposed did deserve it, and he did what he could to protect the source.

2. Link? this is a large and well known case. please use wikipedia and google to finddocumentaries and interview with him. your findings are equally walid as mine, since i am not an insider.

but: http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/
20:50 June 22, 2012 by bcterry
2. Link? this is a large and well known case. please use wikipedia and google to finddocumentaries and interview with him. your findings are equally walid as mine, since i am not an insider."

I asked for the link because a tried a number of searches with a number of different wordings and found nothing.

I don't want heresay about what he said about the interrogation in the U.K., i want an independent verification with the details.

Your link doers not provide it.

If you cannot provide one, simply say so
21:52 June 22, 2012 by fansnakkaru
bcterry: why do u lie?

also "comment looks like link spam, rejected", so i can not post evidence...

i can not post evidence, but here are the search terms:

"assange interrogate england"

"marianne ny refuses interrogation in england"
22:01 June 22, 2012 by bcterry
21:52 June 22, 2012 by fansnakkaru

"bcterry: why do u lie"

Only idiots make accusations without providing evidence.

Put up, ....... or shut up.

Your link took me to the information i was looking for.
22:49 June 22, 2012 by Smokebox
How much money are all these governments going to waste on this turdddd..
23:45 June 22, 2012 by Coaxen
Those comments make me think that maybe we don't need freedom of information. We don't deserve it. Let's just all indulge in blissful consumerism and stop trying to hold our governments accountable.
03:12 June 23, 2012 by Harry®
Looks to me like Assange is very much fighting on his own against everyones American masters

- Australia's PM Gillard has falsely asserting that Assange had broken the law

- Australia's Attorney General threatening to cancel his passport

-Australia gave absolutely no remonstrations with Sweden telling them to stuff their confected non-charge where the sun doesn't shine

- Australia's given absolutely no remonstrations with the UK telling them to stuff their idiotic extradition for no charges laid on a non-crime

- Australia's made absolutely no remonstrations with the US telling them they will not get their hands on Assange unless they want their F-35 order canceled

-With every single press conference by Australia's PM involves defensive posturing with false claims to having provided assistance to Assange. (none happened)
08:58 June 23, 2012 by Nomark
This is fast becoming a comedy. Assange seeking asylum in Ecuador, with its human rights record ?

I've found the drivel coming out of Assange to be wierd. First it was a an American plot. Then it was Swedish feminism. Now it looks like its those Americans again. Ironically enough he's on the mark with the feminist bit (as some of us pointed out at the very start of this charade).

Although they've tried, his supporters have had a hard time in establishing why he has to go to Sweden prior to extradition to the US given that the UK has a very lopsided extradition treaty with the US i.e. they get the people they want and we don't get those we want.

When he doesn't get extradited to the US from Sweden it will be interesting to see what line the JA faithful take then.

In general its unwise to have heroes especially if one views them uncritically and defends them from a basis of incomplete knowledge. It also leads to mean and nasty mobbing as one of his accusers (now known as the "most hated woman on the internet") can attest.

Julian - turn yourself in. Try to make sure that those who stood by you and paid your bail money get it back. Go back to Sweden and face the allegations. If you want to whinge about a conspiracy then provide real evidence for it.
09:48 June 23, 2012 by lungfish
Many of us are outraged about this case for reasons that have nothing to do with Assange per se. What is outrageous are:

- all points made by Harry. Government representatives are making statements and actions beyond the scope of their justice systems, which is a violation of the principles upon which they are founded. This is INCORRECT and what they are doing to Assange they can do to you, for whatever reasons. It is an erosion of principles of justice that should never be accepted for specific local reasons, because the undermining of the justice system becomes general and non-specific.

- practices of the Swedish governmental system of morality. There are many examples of the interference of the Swedish government is issues that in other Western countries would be regarded to be within the personal sphere and none of the government's business. Example: participants in consensual group sex being first charged with rape and then when that didn't work with prostitution. The problem here is that someone in the government didn't like it, so they had to find a charge that would stick to the participants. There are many other examples like this, where the law is an instrument of the personal agendas of people like Beatrice Ask. In Sweden, if a condom breaks, you are suddenly a rapist. Who is the rapist? The man, of course. If underage children have sex, who is charged with pedophilia? The boy, of course. Power and proactivity are always assumed to be on the side of the male, strange in the supposedly gender-equal Swedish system.
10:39 June 23, 2012 by Nomark

How many of Harry's points have been independently verified to be true ?

Regarding the law, its usual to wait and see a trial before condemning the legal system Although its lost in the sensationalist noise, JA is only wanted for questioning.
15:58 June 23, 2012 by millionmileman
Well I guess he want be buying a SAAB or Volvo anytime soon!
23:38 June 23, 2012 by umeåstar
What a joke! If I was being accused of something I didn't do I would fight the hell outta it.. and he runs because he knows he got caught
07:47 June 24, 2012 by Camlon
Guys think logically. Would he move to Ecuador permanently, without the possibility of leaving if he was concerned about rape charges in Sweden. For those charges he will get maximum 1 year in prison. Running away to Ecudaor is simply not worth it.

I am definitly certain that Sweden will sent Assange to the US. He won't get a death penalty, but he will get life in prison. That is what he is trying to avoid.
08:34 June 24, 2012 by Nomark

Regarding your deductive reasoning that you are "definitly (sic) certain" that JA will be sent to the US, why does he need to go via Sweden ? The UK is a close ally to the US and has a notoriously lopsided extradition treaty i.e. they get the people they want and we don't get those we want.

I'm definitly certain that JA supporters haven't applied any sceptical thinking to the outbursts and antics of their hero.
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