Julian Assange, the Australian founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website, has issued a defiant message from prison in London ahead of his renewed attempt later Tuesday to secure bail.
In a message related via his mother, Christine, who was reported to have travelled to London from her native Australia, the 39-year-old said his “convictions are unfaltering” and he was determined to remain “true to his ideals.” Mr. Assange, who was remanded in custody on December 7, will fight attempts to extradite him to Sweden over alleged rape and molestation charges when he appears at the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London for the hearing.
In the message read out by his mother on Australian TV, and also published via video by the Guardian newspaper, Mr. Assange describes the allegations against him as “illegal and immoral.” These circumstances would not shake his ideals, Mr. Assange said, according to the message. “If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct.”
“I am calling on the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral acts,” he said.
Meanwhile his lawyer, Stephen Marks, said that his client had not been handed any of his post since he arrived at Wandsworth jail in south London a week ago.
“Many hundreds of people have written to him and the authorities at Wandsworth Prison have not yet given him his letters, including legal letters,” said Mr. Stephens.
The only letter to reach him during the week he had spent in the prison’s segregation unit was a slip telling him that a copy of Time magazine sent to him had been destroyed as the cover bore his photo, the lawyer said.
“He has absolutely no access to any electronic equipment, no access to the outside world, no access to outside media ... Time magazine sent him a copy of their most recent edition with a compliments slip. The prison destroyed the whole magazine.” His client was on “23.5-hours-a-day lockdown” in the prison, taking his meals in his cell, his lawyer said. He was being kept under surveillance on infrared video.
If he should be denied bail a second time, Mr. Assange is expected to appeal at the High Court. A number of high profile campaigners, including film director Ken Loach and human rights activist Jemima Khan, have offered to put up bail.
Last week, a judge refused bail on the grounds that Mr. Assange was alleged to have committed serious offences and could abscond.
The accusations against him include rape and molestation in one case and molestation and unlawful coercion in the second.
Mr. Assange has denied the allegations.