In his first UK newspaper interview since releasing hundreds of secret diplomatic cables last month, Assange told The (London) Times he predicts the United States will face reprisals if it attempts to extradite him on conspiracy charges.
He accused his media partners at The Guardian newspaper, which worked with him to make the embarrassing leaks public, of unfairly tarnishing him by revealing damaging details of the sex assault allegations he faces in Sweden.
He insisted that the women behind the claims were motivated by revenge.
Finally, looking ahead to next year, Assange said he has enough material ready to destroy the bosses of one of the world’s biggest banks.
Speaking from a Suffolk mansion where he is confined on bail, the 39-year-old Australian said that the decision to publish incriminating police files about him was “disgusting.” The Guardian had previously used him as its source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.
Assange was understood to be particularly angry with a senior reporter at the paper and former friend, for “selectively publishing” incriminating sections of the police report, although The Guardian made clear that the WikiLeaks founder was given several days to respond.
Assange claimed the newspaper received leaked documents from Swedish authorities or “other intelligence agencies” intent on jeopardizing his defense.
“The leak was clearly designed to undermine my bail application,” he said. “Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison.”
He denied allegations of sexual assault and said that the allegations by two Swedish women he met in August “came from nowhere.”
Assange was arrested and held in Wandsworth prison after Swedish authorities issued an extradition request. He was released on bail last week on a surety of £275,000 ($427,872).
Assange said that he still had not seen the full extent of the allegations against him, although he accepted that his Swedish lawyer had been handed many of the details.
When asked if he was promiscuous, he replied, “I’m not promiscuous. I just really like women.”
Assange also confirmed that WikiLeaks was holding a vast amount of material about a bank which it intends to release early next year.
Shares in Bank of America recently fell after speculation spread that it was the target.
“We don’t want the bank to suffer unless it’s called for,” Assange said. “But if its management is operating in a responsive way there will be resignations.”
US officials are reportedly searching for ways to extradite him on espionage charges. Vice President Joe Biden recently called the WikiLeaks founder a “high-tech terrorist.”
Assange said that he believed that the US situation would “turn around absolutely” as a groundswell of favorable opinion grew in America.
“The people in power are organized and were able to respond quickly,” he said. “But numerically they are not that strong and our support in the general population is tremendous.”