Saturday, 4 December 2010
WikiLeaks founder says guards against death threats
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday he and colleagues were taking steps to protect themselves after death threats following the publication of leaked US diplomatic cables on their website.
One of Assange's lawyers said he would also fight any attempt to extradite his client to face questions over alleged sexual misconduct, adding that he believed foreign powers were influencing Sweden in the matter.
Washington is furious about the leak of hundreds of confidential diplomatic cables that have given unvarnished and sometimes embarrassing insights into the foreign policy of the United States and its allies.
Answering questions online from an undisclosed location, the 39-year-old Australian said anyone making threats against his life should be charged with incitement to murder.
"The threats against our lives are a matter of public record, however, we are taking the appropriate precautions to the degree that we are able when dealing with a superpower," Assange was quoted as saying on the Guardian website.
Britain's Guardian is one of a number of newspapers around the world with early access to diplomatic cables seen by WikiLeaks.
Assange, who is reported to be somewhere in southern England, has his own legal woes.
Swedish authorities said information missing from a European arrest warrant they had issued against Assange for alleged sex crimes had been handed to British authorities.
"We sent it. They asked for complementary information and now they have it," Swedish Prosecution Authority spokeswoman Karin Rosander said.