Christmas address: Assange to outline battle plan for 2013
Not much is known about the subject of Assange’s address, but he recently confirmed intentions to run as a candidate for the Australian Senate in 2013. Speculation is also rife that he will use the occasion to officially launch a WikiLeaks political party.
WikiLeaks' Twitter has taken on a festive spirit ahead of the Australian’s public appearance, tweeting, “Julian Assange to give Xmas speech at Ecuador Embassy. Bring candles & come enjoy some mulled wine!”
RT tried to catch some insight into what the address might cover by catching up with WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson.
RT: Should we be prepared for any major announcements tomorrow?
Kristinn Hrafnsson: I’m hesitant to give anything away. I do not want to take away the element of surprise. But he might be talking about his political ambitions in Australia in the coming election next spring. He might also talk about the recent development in our battle against the economic blockade where there was a very important development earlier this week.
RT: Julian Assange has been busy, as we've heard. Do you know what his aspirations are for the coming year?
KH: Let’s hope we see a solution into the current situation of…him being stuck in the embassy at the moment and there is a discussion between the Ecuadorian authorities, the UK Home Office and the Swedes to find a solution to the situation. And I’m confident that there will be solution in the next week and month, I mean, there has to be.
We will continue our work as we have done, despite the difficult situation that Julian has been in, he’s been in the Ecuadorian embassy for six months now, but prior to that his house arrest did not stop us. We have continued our work. The economic blockade has not stopped us either, even though we are getting into a dire situation financially but that is a battle that we had decided to turn into an all-out war and I’m sure we’ll have a victory there as well in the New Year.
RT: Do you think Assange will ever go to Ecuador?
KH: Let’s hope he will. It is a very nice country. I have been there myself. There will be a solution to this situation. I’m sure.
RT: Do you think Sweden will be the first port of call?
KH: Well, it depends. There has been an urgent message to the Swedes to give an assurance that if Julian goes to Sweden to face the questioning that he is wanted for, keep that in mind- there are no charges brought forth against him, that the Swedish authorities give assurance that he is not going to be extradited further to the United States and they were not able to give that assurance but they can do that. It is politically possible and they should.
RT: How is Julian Assange’s health?
KH: He is fine. He is very upbeat and busy working. He had rather a bad cough the other day which turned him into a major news story…
RT: But mentally, he is coping with it?
KH: He is coping with it very well, yes. He is an extraordinary character.
RT: Last time we saw Assange on the balcony of Ecuador's embassy, he accused the US of carrying out a witch-hunt against whistle blowers. How much pressure is Wikileaks feeling now?
KH: Well, we know about the ongoing investigation, the secret grand jury and all of a sudden in Virginia, there is an ongoing attempt to find an angle to bring charges against Julian and possibly all those working for WikiLeaks. It is a very serious matter, of course very shameful for the Obama administration not to stop it, for a man who was running on a ticket four years ago to increase transparency and what we have seen is totally the opposite, a witch-hunt against whistle blowers that has no precedent in history.