WikiLeaks founder's mother: Democracy is on trial

By Kieran Campbell -

NOOSA - The mother of controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has pleaded with Australia's Federal Government to bring her son home.

Christine Assange, who lives in Noosa, said she feared that there would be outside interference in his trial by those trying to shut down his website.

Following Mr Assange's arrest in London, Mrs Assange spoke exclusively to the Sunshine Coast Daily of her fears for her son.

Mrs Assange wants "a fair go" for her son, who handed himself into London police over allegations of sexual assault in Sweden.

"I'm calling on the Australian Government to offer Julian a safe place, to ensure that there is no abuse of legal process and thus ensuring his rights to natural justice," she said.

"I am calling on the Australian people to speak out for what all Aussies believe in and what has made this country great - a fair go."

Mr Assange, 39, vowed to fight extradition to Sweden.

The Townsville-born man has been labelled a terrorist and there have been calls for him to be charged with espionage for his role in the biggest leak of classified documents in history.

WikiLeaks continues to publish more of the 250,000 previously secret US Government documents that have been leaked to it.

Mrs Assange said her advice to her son would be to take a " deep breath".

"A lot of people love him and are thinking of him and we all send our love and best wishes for him from Australia," she said.

"We will not let this injustice continue without a big fight."

Mrs Assange said she feared her son would not receive a fair trial because of the political nature of his work with WikiLeaks.

"There is no fair play here," Mrs Assange said.

"My son has come forward of his own free will to face the charges against him and they have put him in the ring with his hands tied behind his back.

"I'd like to know who is leaning on the Swiss bank to freeze my son's account in his time of greatest need.

"I'd like to know who is strong-arming the Swedish prosecutor's office - who is playing Russian roulette with my son's life with these on-again, off-again charges.

"I'd like to know how my son is going to get a fair trial on any current or future charges with the amount of political interference in the legal process.

"Irrespective of our views on WikiLeaks, we should all be deeply concerned about the outside interference in the independence of our legal systems.

"Our judicial independence is at the very heart of our concept of justice and the core of our democracy.

"It is there to protect the rights and freedoms of the individual.

"Democracy is on trial.

"We should all stand up and protest when these rights and freedoms are violated."

Mrs Assange said that because of recent WikiLeaks reports involving denigrating comments about Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, she was "concerned about a potential conflict of interest having Kevin Rudd oversee my son's welfare through the Australian embassy".

Mr Rudd said he was not bothered by the criticisms of him in the leaked US Government diplomatic cables. In a statement to the Daily, Mr Rudd assured Mrs Assange that her son would receive "all the normal consular assistance provided by the Australian Government".

Mrs Assange said Julian's 20-year-old son Daniel had received death threats. She has not.

- SUNSHINE COAST DAILY

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