Assange sees freedom in Australia senate seat
SYDNEY – Agence France-Presse
In a file picture taken on December 20, 2012 Wikileaks founder Julian Assange addresses members of the media and supporters from the window of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge, west London. AFP PhotoWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange believes winning a seat in Australia’s upper house would extricate him from his prolonged asylum inside Ecuador’s London embassy, a report said yesterday.
In an interview published on Australian website The Conversation, Assange outlined a scenario that would set him free to return to home.
If he takes a senate seat in the Sept. 14 elections, “the U.S. Department of Justice won’t want to spark an international diplomatic row,” The Conversation paraphrased Assange as saying.
“It will drop its grand jury espionage investigation. The Cameron government will follow suit,” it added.
If Britain failed to back off “the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still,” Assange said.
A new WikiLeaks Party is to be launched soon with a 10-member national council and field candidates for the senate. Queensland-born Assange is expected to stand in Victoria state.
He has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June, after claiming asylm in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden. Britain has refused to grant him safe passage out of the country.
The former computer hacker fears Sweden will allow him to be extradited to the United States to be questioned over the WikiLeaks release of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.
Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa called on Europe on Feb. 17 to find a snap diplomatic solution for Assange.
“It’s a diplomatic situation for which a solution must be found... as quickly as possible,” Correa said shortly after declaring victory in presidential elections.