Wexford TD Mick Wallace has spoken of how he and Dublin North TD Clare Daly paid a visit to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for nearly 14 months.
Wallace emailed Assange requesting the meeting and it took place during the Dáil break in August. Wallace described how the whistleblower “hasn’t been out in the fresh air since he went in there” because if he exits the building, which is surrounded by police, he risks arrest.
“It’s pretty confined, he has a small bedroom and has office space. He seemed in good condition,” he said.
“It’s the same as Portlaoise prison; the cells are pretty small there too but guys use the challenge of staying fit as a mechanism of staying sane.”
The former property developer admitted to being “very interested in what he [Assange] is doing and the whole principle of how information is flowing today; the manner in which it is controlled, the way in which they examine this, is very interesting and relevant to all of us”.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio, Wallace said the Australian spoke to the two Dáil deputies about “what WikiLeaks are doing these days and how the media operates”.
Assange is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy after allegations were made that he raped a woman and sexually molested and coerced another in Stockholm, Sweden, in Aug 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.
The Swedish authorities issued a European arrest warrant requesting he return there for questioning.
He and his supporters fear that extradition to Sweden may be followed by transfer to the US over the activities of his whistle-blowing website.
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