Assange tells lawyers to 'take action'

Assange tells lawyers to 'take action'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has instructed his lawyers “to carry out a legal action” to protect his rights.

His legal adviser Baltasar Garzon emerged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and said: “I have spoken to Julian Assange and I can tell you he is in fighting spirits and he is thankful to the people of Ecuador and especially to the president for granting asylum.

“Julian Assange has always fought for truth and justice and has defended human rights and continues to do so.

“He demands that WikiLeaks and his own rights be respected.

“Julian Assange has instructed his lawyers to carry out a legal action in order to protect the rights of WikiLeaks, Julian himself and all those currently being investigated.”

When asked whether Mr Assange is negotiating for a guarantee that if he travels to Sweden to be interviewed he will not later be extradited to the US, Mr Garzon said: “There are no negotiations as far as I am aware.

“It is not within our area of competence to know whether there are negotiations.”

Mr Assange has been inside Ecuador's London embassy for two months today.

The controversial figure, who is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual assault allegations, entered the building seeking asylum on June 19 and has been inside since.

Last week it was announced he had been granted political asylum, sparking a major diplomatic row between Ecuador, Sweden and the Government, which insists it is legally obliged to hand Mr Assange over.

It is not known how long the former computer hacker will stay in the confines of the embassy, and speculation has mounted that he will appear on the building’s balcony today to make a statement.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has made it clear that the Australian would not be allowed safe passage out of the country.

Mr Assange denies the allegations he faces in Sweden and fears being transferred to America if he travels to contest them.

He enraged the US government in 2010 when his WikiLeaks website published tranches of secret US diplomatic cables.

Bradley Manning, a US army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking the information, is being held at an American military base.

He has been charged with transferring classified data and delivering national defence information to an unauthorised source and faces up to 52 years in jail.

There were chaotic scenes after Mr Garzon tried to leave after making his brief speech and answering questions from reporters.

Media from around the world tried to get past police to ask more questions, while officers pushed them back to take Mr Garzon back into the embassy building.

Letters of solidarity with Mr Assange by WikiLeaks supporters such as Australian journalist John Pilger and filmmaker Ken Loach were read out in their absence.

“Julian needs protection from all who care about freedom of information and real journalism,” Loach wrote in his letter.

More WikiLeaks supporters gathered in the pen assigned to them in front of the embassy and cheered as the letters were read out.

They carried placards with messages such as: You Won’t Stop WikiLeaks – They Changed The World Already.

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