Assange says heard 'rumours' of US indictment

17th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Thursday he had heard rumours that he had been indicted in the United States, shortly after he was freed on bail in Britain.

"We have a rumour today from my lawyer in the US, which is not confirmed yet, that there has been an indictment made against me in the US," the 39-year-old Australian told reporters.

The founder of the controversial whistleblower website was arrested in London after a request from Sweden, where authorities want to quiz him over claims of sexual offences.

But he said he had greater concerns that attempts would be made to extradite him to the United States, which has been infuriated by his website's release of US diplomatic cables.

"I do not have too many fears about being extradited to Sweden. There are much bigger concerns about being extradited to the United States," he said.

His lawyer, Mark Stephens, claimed earlier this week a secret US grand jury had been set up in Virginia to work on charges that could be filed against the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange was speaking after he was freed from prison on bail by a London court following his arrest on December 7.

His lawyers insist moves to extradite him to Sweden to face questioning over allegations he sexually assaulted two women are politically motivated and linked to the US cables.

Swedish prosecutors insist the extradition request has nothing to do with WikiLeaks.

© 2010 AFP

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