The founder of media website Wikileaks says he is preparing a massive release of leaked information affecting more than 50 countries to mark the second anniversary of his confinement to the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Julian Assange sought political asylum in the embassy two years ago today, amid attempts to extradite him to Sweden to face accusations of sexual misconduct with two women.
Assange and his lawyers feared that once in Sweden, he would be extradited on to the United States to face charges over the leaking of millions of national security documents which have plagued the US and other administrations, including Australia.
In a late night conference call on Wednesday, Assange told media his two-year confinement, while challenging, had its upsides.
“The situation does create certain difficulties. On the other hand, unlike other national security reporters, I am in an effective jurisdiction where I cannot be subpoenaed; there cannot be any police knocks in the night or in the day…” Assange said.
“If you look at the situation of getting Edward Snowden out of Hong Kong and trying to manage that from an embassy under extensive surveillance in the largest intelligence manhunt the world has ever seen, you can understand that securing communications between here and Hong Kong in such circumstances is on the very edge of what state-of-the-art is.
“And we are proud that our techniques were successful in that instance and we are developing systems to allow others to use them more broadly.”
Legal adviser to Wikileaks, Jen Robinson – also an ex-pat Australian – said legal efforts to have Sweden drop its four-year investigation into the misconduct allegations against Assange are continuing.
Ms Robinson told media that lawyers in Stockholm would next week file a legal challenge to the detention order “on the basis that new information has been received about the case”.
Assange also told media that the election of the Abbott Government in Australia had not brought any relief to his situation, after the ALP all but ignored the legal assault on him.
“Sadly it is the state of the Australian government… that both sides of politics have been extremely close to the United States,” he told media.
“Bob Carr has admitted in his biography that he lied to the Australian public in saying that I had had more consular assistance in equivalent time than any other Australian. He admits to lying and says that he did it — he lied — to quote, ‘needle me’.”
The Wikileaks information is expected to be available later this evening.
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