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Page last updated at 09:14 GMT, Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Julian Assange: 'I feel at peace'


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in his first face-to-face broadcast interview since his release from prison on bail, has defended his organisation and explained why he is fighting extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

Speaking to Today presenter John Humphrys at the mansion in East Anglia where he is staying under strict bail conditions, he said he is fighting extradition because he believes "no natural justice" would occur in the country.

He said he believed the most probable explanation for the allegations was that two women "found out that they were mutual lovers of mine and they had unprotected sex and they got into a tizzy about whether there was a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases".

It was a "ridiculous thing to go to the police about," he added.

Mr Assange insisted that in the long term the allegations would be helpful for his organisation.

"You are in a very beneficial position if you can be martyred without dying," he said.

In a wide-ranging interview, he denied that the leaks had prevented diplomats from being able to operate.

"They can speak freely," he said. "They just have to start committing things to paper that they are proud of."

Asked about his own personality, Mr Assange said he had time in solitary confinement to consider his life and was "perfectly happy with myself".

"Capable generous men don't create victims, they try and save people from becoming victims."

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