Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Assange claims 'life under threat'

Julian Assange says his life is 'under threat'

Julian Assange says his life is under threat as he prepares to fight an extradition bid after being freed on bail.

Assange, founder of the website WikiLeaks, said there were "significant risks".

He was speaking outside a friend's home near Diss, Norfolk, where he is staying pending an extradition hearing in January.

"There is a threat to my life. There is a threat to my staff," Assange, 39, told journalists. "There are significant risks facing us."

Assange is wanted in Sweden after he was accused of committing sex offences. He denies the allegations and his lawyers have accused the Swedish authorities of waging a "vendetta".

He was initially remanded in custody but freed from prison on Thursday after a judge granted bail pending a court ruling on extradition.

Assange said the sex offence allegations were a "travesty".

"The case in Sweden is a travesty," he added. "No person should be exposed to that type of investigation and persecution."

He added: "I have seen a statement from one of the witnesses that she was bamboozled...I have heard a rumour that one has withdrawn her statement."

WikiLeaks, a not-for-profit group, was launched in 2007 with a mission statement of bringing important news and information to the public.

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