WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has now spent two
years inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, hopes a fresh
legal challenge will allow him to leave sooner rather than
Today marks the second anniversary of Assange entering the
diplomatic mission to seek political asylum, which he was
granted in mid-August 2012.
WikiLeaks legal adviser Jen Robinson used the anniversary to
announce a new bid to get Sweden to drop its four-year
investigation into allegations of sexual assault against
Next Tuesday lawyers in Stockholm will file a challenge to a
Swedish detention order "on the basis that new information
has been received about the case", Ms Robinson told reporters
during a phone conference.
She noted that since the UK courts agreed to extradite
Assange the British law had changed "to prevent people being
extradited without charge".
Assange fears if he goes to Sweden he'll be extradited to the
United States and charged over WikiLeaks' release of
The 42-year-old says even if the Swedish warrant was
dismissed he still risks being extradited from Britain to the
"However, the removal of the Swedish matter will prevent what
has been an extremely distracting political attack, which has
been to try and draw attention away from what is the largest
ever criminal investigation by the (US) Department of Justice
into a publisher, and into me, personally," Assange said on
Removing Sweden from the equation would make it easier to
find out if the British government supported his extradition
to the US, the former computer hacker said.
This time last year Assange launched a blistering attack on
the Gillard government in Australia saying it "bent over more
than any other country in the world" to appease the US.
Twelve months on, he says the election of the conservative
Abbott government "produced no change in the situation".
"Sadly it is the state of the Australian government ... that
both sides of politics have been extremely close to the
United States," he said.
Assange savaged US Attorney-General Eric Holder on Wednesday
over the criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.
"The on-going existence of that investigation produces a
chilling effect not just in relation to internet-based
publishers but to all publishers because all publishers will
shortly be internet-based publishers only," he said.
"I call on Eric Holder today to immediately drop the on-going
national security investigation against Wikileaks or resign."
WikiLeaks says more than 30 groups are writing to Holder
demanding he close the grand jury investigation.
Some 60 organisations have written to the UN Human Rights
Council arguing Sweden's treatment of people pre-trial was
"arbitrary, denies fundamental right and denies equality",
Assange's US lawyer, Michael Ratner, said on Wednesday.
The UK has spent more than STG6 million ($A11 million) on
policing the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Assange said of greater concern was the fact police collected
information on everyone who visited him.
"As an investigative journalist dealing with sensitive
documents and with staff under threat, that creates
difficulties," he said.
Asked if he feared he was stuck, the 42-year-old said: "As
most people who are involved in a serious process and who are
also pulled into public life know, it is a pleasurable dream
to be outside of ongoing public concern and instead to be
able to do your work unmolested."
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa this week said Assange
could stay in the embassy "for as long as he needs".
The president said it was up to Britain and Sweden to reach