WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday said that he decided to seek political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London because his own country, Australia, had effectively "abandoned" him.
In his first interview since he walked into the embassy on Tuesday, Mr. Assange told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio onphone that although Ecuador was sympathetic to his struggle he had no idea if his bid would succeed, or when a decision would be taken.
"We had heard that the Ecuadoreans were sympathetic in relation to my struggles and the struggles of the organisation (WikiLeaks) with the United States," he said.
"We hope that what I am doing now will simply draw attention to the underlying issues," he added accusing Australia of abandoning him by refusing to intervene in his legal battle against extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.
He said Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon had refused “reasonable requests” by his lawyer to consult or be involved in discussions on the matter. This amounted to an “effective declaration of abandonment.”
“There are serious issues here, and they are being hidden by the slimy rhetoric coming out of the U.S. ambassador to Australia, via [Prime Minister Julia] Gillard and by the foreign minister — and that needs to stop,” he said.
Mr. Assange, who spent fourth day in Ecuador’s embassy as the police stood by to arrest him for breaking his bail conditions, denied Australian Government’s claim that he was receiving consular assistance.
His mother Christine told the BBC: "My government is not my government any more. It's just a subsidiary of the United States. They got together to send him back to the U.S.’’
Mr. Assange sought the asylum after Britain’s Supreme Court dismissed his appeal against extradition.
Ecuador’s President said his government was examining the case and, in making a decision, would take into account Mr Assange’s fears that if extradited to Sweden he might be handed over to American authorities who planned to prosecute hin for his role in leaking confidential documents.