Julian Assange senate bid 'legal defence against criminal prosecution in US, UK': Report

Julian Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange regards his bid to become an Australian senator as a defense against potential criminal prosecution in the US and Britain, a report has said.

Assange has reportedly told a website that if he wins a Senate seat at elections on Sept. 24, the U.S. Department of Justice would drop its espionage investigation rather than risk a diplomatic row.

He added that the British government would follow suit, otherwise 'the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still,' ABC News reports. Assange supporters last week enrolled him to vote in Victoria state, a necessary step toward being nominated as a candidate.

Nominations for the Senate are likely to close on Aug. 22, and the six-year term of office would begin on July 1, 2014. Assange is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he was granted asylum in June to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations.

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