• France's news in English

'Hollande stabbed me in back': Julian Assange

AFP · 18 Sep 2015, 16:00

Published: 18 Sep 2015 15:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Sep 2015 16:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
The head of the whistleblowing website told Society magazine that France's rejection of his request in July followed discussions at the highest levels.
"There had been direct contact between Francois Hollande and me. Text messages were exchanged through my French legal advisor. The French president gave encouraging signs," Assange said, in comments translated from French.
"In a way, his (final) response was a stab in the back," Assange said.
"What pushed him to change his mind between the first exchanges and his final public response?" Assange asked.
He said: "Perhaps he wanted to look strong, not to the French, but to the United States and the United Kingdom, to be loyal to them. Publicly rejecting such a request was a way of doing that."
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012, having taken refuge there because Sweden wanted him to be extradited to answer questions about an allegation of rape. He insists Sweden wants to pass him on to US authorities over the release of hundreds of thousands of classified cables.
In turning down his asylum request, Hollande's office had said Assange's situation "does not present an immediate danger".
It added: "Furthermore, he is subject to a European arrest warrant."
Story continues below…
The French presidency had no comment on Assange's claims on Friday.
Swedish officials said last month they hope to reach a judicial cooperation deal with Ecuador by the end of the year that would clear the way for Swedish prosecutors to question Assange.
Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available