Julian Assange claims former US president Barrack Obama only pardoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning to make life hard for him.
‘Let”s look at it from their (US) perspective. If we give Chelsea Manning clemency, what’s the result?’ the Wikileaks founder told Waleed Aly of Ten’s The Project on Tuesday night, clarifying his offer to be extradited to the US.
‘It’s going to make life hard for Assange because either he’s going to get extradited to the United States or we’re going to show he’s a liar and both of things are going to make life hard for Assange and therefore it’s OK to pardon Chelsea Manning and that’s what happened.’
Last week Assange said there would be “many discussions” on his future before Manning leaves prison in May, after Mr Obama used his final hours in the White House to allow Manning to go free nearly 30 years early.
During the interview, Assange maintained he would accept extradition to the US but wasn’t an “idiot” who would do so without lawyers.
‘We are going to have a discussion with the (Department of Justice) about what that looks like,’ Assange said.
‘The ball is in their court.” Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 for fear of being extradited to the US.
He has refused to meet prosecutors in Sweden, where he remains wanted on an allegation of rape, fearing he would be extradited to the US to face espionage charges if he leaves the embassy.
The US Justice Department has never announced any indictment of Assange and it’s not clear that any charges have been brought under seal.
Ms Manning, the transgender former intelligence analyst born Bradley Manning, said she had passed on government and military documents to raise awareness about the impact of war.