Assange concerned over 'natural justice' in Sweden

Julian Assange: "There are some serious problems with the Swedish prosecution"

Julian Assange has told the BBC that he is fighting a Swedish extradition warrant because he believes "no natural justice" would occur in Sweden.

Mr Assange was speaking in an interview for the Today programme, at the mansion in East Anglia where he is staying under strict bail conditions.

The Wikileaks founder suggested the two women who have accused him of sexual assault had got into a "tizzy".

Mr Assange denies the allegations and says the case is politically motivated.

The 39-year-old is free on bail in the UK while facing the extradition proceedings to Sweden and staying in Norfolk.

Mr Assange told the BBC's John Humphrys: "I don't need to go back to Sweden.

"The law says I... have certain rights, and these rights mean that I do not need to speak to random prosecutors around the world who simply want to have a chat, and won't do it in any other standard way."

He also said the Swedish authorities had asked, as part of their extradition application, that he and his Swedish lawyer be gagged from speaking about the case.

"What is requested is that I be taken by force to Sweden and once there, be held incommunicado: That is not a circumstance under which natural justice can occur," Mr Assange said.

Mr Assange also said it was possible that the allegations against him arose from the two women going to the police for advice rather than to make a complaint.

Legal loopholes

He said "one description" of what that occurred was that after having discovered they had each been sexually involved with him, they had got into a "tizzy" about the possibility of sexually transmitted diseases, had gone to the police for advice "and then the police jumped in on this and bamboozled the women".

Start Quote

Already we see that we have changed governments”

End Quote Julian Assange Wikileaks founder

But he also said there were "other people making descriptions" that the women had deliberately abused a loophole in Swedish law, whereby if they went to the police for advice, they could not be charged with filing a false report.

The same loophole also existed for approaching the police about sexually transmitted diseases, Mr Assange said.

Wikileaks has released thousands of leaked US diplomatic cables - a move that US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said was "sabotaging peaceful relations" between countries.

But Mr Assange insisted his mission was "to promote justice through the method of transparency".

"The world has a lot of problems that need to be reformed - and we only live once," he said.

"Every person who has some ability to do something about it, if they are a person of good character, has the duty to try and fix the problems in the environment in which they're in."

Mr Assange said Wikileaks had already done a lot of good: "The gradual unfolding of the process of political reform is something that we cannot see immediately, but already we see that we have changed governments - we have certainly changed many political figures within governments.

"We have caused new law reform efforts. We have caused police investigations into the abuses we have exposed."

Asked whether the publication by Wikileaks would prevent diplomats from committing to paper their honest opinions, Mr Assange added: "No, they just have to start committing things to paper that they're proud of."

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