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Assange defends WikiLeaks, Clinton emails

Press AssociationPress Association 8/11/2016 Alan Jones

Julian Assange has defended the release of emails by WikiLeaks about US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

As Americans were voting in the crucial election, Assange released a statement saying the right to "receive and impart true information" was the guiding principle of WikiLeaks.

The organisation defends the public's right to be informed, said Assange, who is Australian and has been living inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over four years.

"We had information that fit our editorial criteria which related to the Sanders and Clinton campaign (DNC Leaks) and the Clinton political campaign and Foundation (Podesta Emails).

"No-one disputes the public importance of these publications. It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election.

"At the same time, we cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump's campaign, or Jill Stein's campaign, or Gary Johnson's campaign or any of the other candidates that fulfils our stated editorial criteria.

"As a result of publishing Clinton's cables and indexing her emails we are seen as domain experts on Clinton archives.

"So it is natural that Clinton sources come to us."

Assange said that irrespective of the outcome of the election, the real victor was the US public "which is better informed as a result of our work".

He added: "The US public has thoroughly engaged with WikiLeaks' election-related publications which number more than one hundred thousand documents.

"Millions of Americans have poured over the leaks and passed on their citations to each other and to us.

"It is an open model of journalism that gatekeepers are uncomfortable with, but which is perfectly harmonious with the First Amendment."

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation which he denies.

He is due to be questioned in the embassy next week in the presence of Swedish officials.

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