JULIAN Assange has accused the Gillard government of being “co-opted” by the US, saying it is continuing to provide the US with information behind the scenes while publicly claiming to have dropped all investigations against him.
He also claims Australia’s investigation in December was constructed to demonstrate compliance to the US, because the Australian government feared being held accountable for his actions because he is Australian.
Mr Assange’s remarks came in an interview with SBS television, broadcast last night, in the wake of damaging criticism from former colleagues — particularly his former right-hand man, Daniel Domscheit-Berg.
In a series of extracts from Domscheit-Berg’s forthcoming book, the latest published in The Australian today, the author has described Mr Assange as a paranoid megalomaniac who once threatened to kill him.
“If you f . . k up, I’ll hunt you down and kill you,” Mr Assange reportedly said.
Domscheit-Berg writes that he laughed the threat off.
And in The Sunday Times of London, Domscheit-Berg reportedly claimed to have taken critical technology and staff when he left WikiLeaks to start his own organisation, OpenLeaks, thereby rendering Mr Assange’s site unsecure.
However, speaking to SBS journalist Mark Davis in London, Mr Assange displayed none of the dishevelled-dictator character his former colleagues sought to cast him in.
Appearing in a sharp suit and overcoat, between court sessions at his extradition hearing to face rape charges in Sweden, Mr Assange levelled his accusation at the Australian government without hesitation.
“We know that under the surface, in fact, there’s not an Australian Federal Police investigation, but there is assistance being afforded to the United States, and that is something that really needs to come out,” he said.
“We must remember that, back in December, we had a whole-of-government investigation into us. It involved ASIS, ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, and parts of cabinet and the Defence Department.
“That’s just an extraordinary thing. Absolutely extraordinary.”