Assange: Winning Oz senate seat will set me free

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange believes winning a seat in Australia’s upper house would extricate him from his prolonged asylum inside Ecuador’s London embassy.

In an interview 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 US Department of Justice won’t want to spark an international diplomatic row,” the website 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.

He said sex crime allegations against him in Sweden were “falling apart”.

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 Ecuadorian embassy in London since June, after claiming asylum 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 US to be questioned over the WikiLeaks release of thousands of US diplomatic cables.

Despite the swirl of allegations against him, Assange is a popular figure in Australia.


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