Julian Assange may appear before US Senate intelligence panel

WikiLeaks founder claims invite extended to discuss alleged Russian meddling in 2016 poll

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He fears being extradited to the United States for having published a huge cache of US diplomatic and military secrets.  File photograph: Reuters

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He fears being extradited to the United States for having published a huge cache of US diplomatic and military secrets. File photograph: Reuters

 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is considering an offer to appear before the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, his lawyer said on Thursday.

“The US Senate select committee request confirms their interest in hearing from Mr Assange,” said lawyer Jennifer Robinson. “The inquiry has asked for him to appear in person at a mutually agreeable time and place. We are seriously considering the offer but must ensure Mr Assange’s protection is guaranteed.”

On Wednesday, WikiLeaks published a letter which it said was from the committee, asking Mr Assange to make himself available to appear for a closed interview.

Mr Assange has been living in Ecuador’s London embassy for six years since he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questions about allegations of sex crimes. These accusations were later dropped.

However, he would be arrested by British police for breaching bail conditions should he leave the building. He has always said he fears being extradited to the United States for having published a huge cache of US diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website. – Reuters