by Laurie Hanna, Daily Mirror 18/12/2010
Julian Assange accused America of bullyboy tactics yesterday as they tried to extradite him on spying charges.
The WikiLeaks founder, 39, also laid into the senior US politicians who called for his execution for publicising hundreds of their diplomatic cables.
He claimed America was conducting an aggressive and illegal investigation in its struggle to silence him.
Speaking from the snowy grounds of the Georgian mansion he must stay at after being freed on bail over sex assault allegations, the Aussie whistleblower hit out: “A lot of face has been lost by some people and some have careers to make by pursuing a famous case. There have been many calls by senior political figures in the United States, including elected ones in the Senate, for my execution, the kidnapping of my staff.
“Dealing with a superpower that does not appear to be following the rule of law is a very serious business.”
Assange vowed to continue releasing American diplomatic secrets while under house arrest at Ellingham Hall on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, owned by his friend Captain Vaughan Smith.
But, wearing an electronic tag as part of his bail conditions, he claimed the US was increasingly playing dirty. He said: “We can see that by how certain people who are allegedly affiliated with us were contained at the US border and had their computers seized.”
Assange – who joined Mirror staff at our Christmas party after being released from his 10-day prison ordeal on Thursday – is fighting moves to extradite him to Sweden. He is alleged to have assaulted two women in Stockholm.
WikiLeaks had so far released 2,000 leaked cables out of around 250,000.
He said his role would now be limited to a managerial one as he feared authorities would be snooping on his email and internet use.