Monday this week marked an anniversary he could well do without.
It's been 1,000 days since he was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London SW1 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden. 1,000 days of self-imposed exile and 1,000 days of living – if you can call it that - in a holding pattern.
He, of course is Julian Assange, the Townsville, Queensland born journalist and founder of Wikileaks.
While Assange is known best for Cablegate, the dumping of 251,000 United States embassy cables, inthe Australian context Assange exposed just how deceitful some of our politicians are. We now know that as Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd for years told us one thing about China - what a peaceful, warm, cute and cuddly nation it is - while spinning an altogether different yarn about the Middle Kingdom when chewing the fat with former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. This begs the question: was Rudd lying to the Australian people or lying to Madame Secretary?
Every day of Assange's three long years at the embassy has been a reminder of just how petrified he was – and remains – of being extradited to Sweden from where he could easily become a victim of President Barack Obama's extraordinary rendition program quicker that you can say "gravlax".
While Swedish prosecutors have at long last consented to interviewing him in London over alleged sex crimes, their about face didn't come about in a vacuum. Nor did it come about through any display of good faith.
On 20 November last year the Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm's Gamla Stan upheld Assange's arrest order for questioning about the sexual assault allegations. While refusing his claim to set aside the order of the lower court, the Court of Appeal criticized the prosecutors in the case for dragging their feet, something that could be rectified if they interviewed Assange in London.
Sweden's recent decision to question Assange at the embassy over some fine Ecuadorian ceviche was welcomed by Assange, his Ecuadorian hosts and no doubt the British, who have long ago tired of footing the policing bill (estimated at £10 million so far) for what looks very much like a politically inspired witch hunt.
In fact last Friday, Ecuador's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility when welcoming the news announced that:
The Government of Ecuador has repeatedly made this offer [to interview in London] since 2012, when it granted asylum to Mr. Assange.
It is a great injustice that Mr. Assange due to the Prosecutors' failure to fulfill their duty, has been deprived of freedom without charge in the United Kingdom, and confined in our embassy for almost a thousand days. This amounts to a violation of his human rights, at great personal cost to him and his family.
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