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Assange seeks guarantee against US extradition

AFP/The Local · 25 Jun 2012, 07:27

Published: 25 Jun 2012 07:27 GMT+02:00

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The Australian, 40, said he is prepared to go to Sweden to face questioning over sex assault claims, but fears Stockholm will turn him over to the US where he could face espionage and conspiracy charges over revelations by WikiLeaks.

"Ultimately it may be a matter of what guarantees the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden are willing to provide," he told the Sydney Morning Herald from the Ecuador embassy in London, where he is seeking asylum.

Assange believes Washington will pursue him after WikiLeaks published a cache of sensitive documents, including about the Afghan and Iraq wars, and thousands of diplomatic cables which have embarrassed governments worldwide.

"For example, if the US were to guarantee (it would) drop the grand jury investigation and any further investigation of WikiLeaks publishing activity, that would be an important guarantee ... diplomatic commitments do have some weight," he said.

Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuador embassy for nearly a week to avoid extradition to Sweden, again criticised Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard over Canberra's handling of his case.

The former computer hacker said his situation was "a serious political matter... (that) the Australian government should treat with the seriousness it requires".

"I have been attacked by the US, from the vice president down, as a high-tech terrorist, and by the Swedish prime minister and foreign minister -- surely that requires some direct response from the Gillard government."

Story continues below…

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

Canberra has said it has limited capacity to help him because he is not in Australia and has not broken any Australian laws.

Australia has also dismissed the idea that Washington is keen to get Assange, with Foreign Minister Bob Carr saying Sunday there was "no hint" of a plan to extradite him to the United States.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:20 June 25, 2012 by Prestonrobsun
Oh sure, Julian, that's going to happen.

Upside is that after your immediate transfer form a commercial plane to a white , no-markings 737 at Arlanda you won't need to learn the Swedish for 'don't drop the soap in the shower'.

Have a happy 900 years in a US Federal Pen.
10:55 June 25, 2012 by Atlas
Federal Penn...Prestonrobsun, don't you mean Guantanamo?
11:13 June 25, 2012 by Raydoggy
Oh yeah, and who would believe Julia Gillard for that matter, has she ever told the truth about anything. the quicker Labor gets out the better for Australia, she and Rudd are total bogans.
11:45 June 25, 2012 by escalation666
Bottom line, computer hacking is a crime in every country in the world, face your charges.. sick of his whining.. he commited a crime and a federal offense and should be prosecuted regardless of the content Wiki leaks published. He is a total bafoon.
12:01 June 25, 2012 by dizzy09

is it really a crime since some of those leaks actually exposed crimes comitted by US soldiers? like the video showing innocent civilians being gunned downed. were those soldiers ever presecuted? or is only the US that has the licence to kill?
12:08 June 25, 2012 by Nomark
I don't understand why he's still whinging about the US. If the US wanted him then why not extradite from their closest ally, the UK ? As is well known the UK don't mind extraditing folk to the US even if the US doesn't reciprocate.

Can one of his many followers please explain. Also, please make sure that any explanation if factually based and is well reasoned. Its not enough to write things like "I firmly believe that blah blah". That type of thing a waste of bandwidth.
14:00 June 26, 2012 by DonQuixot
The UK, Sweden, Australia and the US are lying, and Julian Assange should never trust them. Specially the US has a long tradition of breaking promises. I hope he will not fall into the trap of any "guarantee". What guarantee can there be when the CIA may take anyone in the world, put him into an airplane and make him dissappear. LEGALLY.
20:40 June 28, 2012 by bcterry
"What guarantee can there be when the CIA may take anyone in the world, put him into an airplane and make him dissappear. LEGALLY. "

Give us your list of those they have made disappear LEGALLY.

Off you go now.
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