JULIAN Assange said today his nine days in solitary confinement in a British jail had made him angrier than ever and steeled his resolve to continue the WikiLeaks project.
“It has not altered my position, in fact it has confirmed my position to me personally that we are on the right path,” he said on his release.
“It has given me enough anger about the situation to last me 100 years.”
His strong rhetoric came just moments before entering the plush Ellingham Hall, his place of “mansion arrest” in the British countryside, after being granted conditional bail at the High Court in London.
Mr Assange is fighting extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations made by two women but said his major fear was being handed over to US authorities.
The 39-year-old Australian has become a hate figure in Washington over his website’s release of thousands of secret US diplomatic cables containing embarrassing revelations.
“I do not have too many fears about being extradited to Sweden,” he said.
“I have much bigger concerns about being extradited to the United States.”
“We had a rumour today from my lawyer in the United States that there has been an indictment made against me in the United States. I have not had that confirmed.”
Looking tired after being locked up for 23-and-a-half hours a day at Wandsworth Prison for the past week and a half, he said the US administration’s attempts to bring down him and the WikiLeaks website were out of line.
“I think it is clear it is not a path that is acceptable to the world community,” he said.
“Certainly not acceptable to the people of Australia or the people of Great Britain and to a large degree, not acceptable the people of Sweden as well, although the administrators are a different matter.”
After being shut off from the world in jail, Mr Assange was informed he had a “good internet connection” to work with at the 10-bedroom residence owned by independent journalism campaigner and supporter Vaughan Smith.
“We have seen in my week away, my team is robust and we continue to publish in a successful manner … that is not to underestimate the risks associated to all of us,” Mr Assange said.
He is due back in court on January 11 for a case management session, with February 7 and 8 set down for his extradition hearing.