WikiLeaks founder considers run for office

March 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
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CANBERRA, Australia, March 17 (UPI) -- WikiLeaks says its founder, Julian Assange, will run for the Australian Senate in spite of legal troubles that could keep him out of the country for a while.

The announcement came Friday via Twitter, The Brisbane Times reported. Assange is currently battling extradition from Britain to Sweden and is under house arrest.

''We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained. Julian has decided to run,'' a tweet from WikiLeaks said.

Sweden has not filed formal charges against Assange, although there are allegations he sexually molested women there. Assange has said he fears the extradition could lead to his being sent to the United States to be tried for espionage, following WikiLeaks' publication of leaked U.S. State Department memos.

A general election is expected in Australia next year. WikiLeaks said it might run a candidate against Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the head of the Labor Party.

Wikileaks misspelled the name of Gillard's constituency, Lalor, as Laylor, prompting a dig from a Labor official, Sam Dastyari: ''Best they learn the seat's name.''

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