Wikileaks founder may seek Swiss asylum

(AFP) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said yesterday that he is considering requesting asylum in Switzerland and basing the whistleblowing website in the fiercely neutral Alpine country.

“That is a real possiblity,” Assange said when asked in an interview with Swiss TV station TSR about whether he and the website might relocate to Switzerland.

He said Switzerland, and perhaps Iceland, were the only Western countries that his outfit feels safe in.

Assange told the TSR television that Wikileaks is examining the possibility of creating a foundation that would allow it operate out of Switzerland, and confirmed he might apply for asylum.

“That is correct. We are examining whether I should apply for asylum,” said Assange in the interview, excerpts of which were available on the station’s website.

WikiLeaks, which last month published an unprecedented 400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted 77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July, has said its people have come under pressure and been harrased.

An Australian national, Assange was turned down last month for a Swedish residency and work permit. He was accused by two woman of rape and molestation days after filing the application in what he called a “set-up” by the website’s enemies.