Assange banks on Australia senate seat bid

2013-02-18 09:00
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Canberra - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regards his bid to become an Australian senator as a defence against potential criminal prosecution in the United States and Britain, a news website reported on Monday.

Assange spoke to The Conversation website at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he was granted asylum in June to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

If he wins a Senate seat at elections on September 24, Assange told the website that the US Department of Justice would drop its espionage investigation rather than risk a diplomatic row.

The British government would follow suit, otherwise "the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still," Assange told the website.

Assange supporters last week enrolled him to vote in Victoria State, a necessary step toward being nominated as a candidate.

Wikileaks party

Nominations for the Senate are likely to close on August 22, and the six-year term of office would begin on July 1 2014.

Australians living overseas can enrol to vote and consequently run as a Senate candidate if they left Australia within the past three years and intend to return within six years of their date of departure.

Assange said he was last in Australia in June 2010.

Assange plans to register a new political party, the WikiLeaks Party, to run Senate candidates in several Australian states. He told the website he was sure the party would attract the minimum 500 fee-paying members required to be registered.

WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance spokesperson Sam Castro said last week that if Assange was elected and was unable to take his Senate seat, another nominated WikiLeaks Party member would be chosen to fill the vacancy.

The party would run on a platform of transparency in government, she said.
Assange's election campaign already has the endorsement of his parents.

His father, Sydney architect John Shipton, said he will be the chief executive of the newly-formed party.

"The party stands for what Julian espouses - transparency and accountability in government and, of course, human rights," he added.

Swedish allegations 'falling apart'

Assange's mother Christine Assange said public support indicated he would be elected.
"There is a lot of enthusiasm in people for a change," she said.

Assange told the website the Swedish allegations against him were "falling apart" and police should drop the case.

The US Department of Justice has been investigating WikiLeaks since the secret-busting website began distributing hundreds of thousands of classified US documents. But few details of that investigation have been made public.

Assange's supporters suggest the Swedish case is being pursued as an avenue to extradite him to the US, though the Swedish government denies it.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  julian assange  |  australia  |  online security  |  espionage
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to become wilful and rebellious if things don’t go to plan. Your tolerance levels are low and you have a lot on your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.