Irony: WikiLeaks Chief Begs Judges Not to Reveal His Address

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assange-wikileaks1It will be something of a step up from HM Prison Wandsworth. If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is granted bail on Thursday, he will swop his room in the overcrowded South London jail for Ellingham Hall, an elegant ten-bedroom retreat in 600 secluded acres of Norfolk countryside.

The company he keeps will also be of a higher profile altogether.

The 39-year-old Australian will be looking forward to convivial meals in the manor’s grand dining room with supporters including Jemima Khan, human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and film director Ken Loach.

No wonder his barrister, Geoffrey Robertson QC, quipped at City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court this week that it would not be so much ‘house arrest as manor arrest’.

There will still be a considerable imposition on Assange’s liberties, however – he will have to obey conditions including an afternoon and night curfew, reporting to police each day, and wearing an electronic tag.

Ellingham Hall is owned by free speech supporter Vaughan Smith, 47, a former captain in the Grenadier Guards, video journalist and founder of the war reporters’ Frontline Club in London.

Assange had been hiding at the club in recent months while the international hunt for him intensified.

Meals at the manor are provided by a housekeeper, while excellent vintages of wine and port are available from the well-stocked cellar.

Contemplative walks will take Mr Assange through the estate’s sustainable farm, which has cattle, sheep, pigs and chickens which are slaughtered to provide organic food at the Frontline Club.

He will also pass by the carp lake and a walled garden which produces fruit and vegetables.

The hall has a self-contained flat, which could provide the perfect retreat for Assange should he wish for time to himself. His host shares the hall with his second wife, Kosovan-born Pranvera Shema, and their two young daughters.

Mr Smith has offered to put up £20,000 towards Assange’s £240,000 bail surety.

Explaining why he would ‘never abandon’ the whistleblower, despite not approving of everything he had leaked, he said: ‘It was about standing up to the bully and the question of whether our country, in these historic times, really was the tolerant, independent and open place I had been brought up to believe it was and feel that it needs to be.’

{Read more: Daily Mail/Matzav.com}

2 COMMENTS

  1. CAN YOU IMAGINE! According to Assange: He boasts as being allowed and, furthermore, considers it his right to reveal countries and states military secrets but when it comes to his own personal life then its hands off!!
    I hope this judge sees through him and he has all the paparazzi following him wherever he goes without any sense of privacy.

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