|Julian Assange's explosive disclosure|
|26 Apr 2011, 0932 hrs IST, TIMES NOW|
In his most revealing and explosive interview to date, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has revealed to TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami that he is being offered a swap deal if he hands over the exclusive details of Swiss banks and their secret account holders list. In his first ever disclosure he explained the delay in the publication of the Swiss bank secrets, when asked how long the people of India would have to wait for the critical and sensitive information to come out.
The Swiss bank has a hostage, Assange said, going on to say that WikiLeaks has an offer, that was indirect and through a third party that if it returns the data, then whistleblower Judith Elmer would be set free. The publication of the Swiss bank secrets is being eagerly awaited, not just in India, but across the world and many believe that it can be the biggest single expose in the fight against corruption globally.
Arnab Goswami: On the 17th of January 2011, you had this press conference in which Elmer gave you two discs of data in front of reporters and he said about the system that the Swiss system runs exactly what you are saying ... it damages society. And since then Mr. Assange, people across India have been waiting to know when this information will come out. It has the potential of correcting one of the greatest ills of our system.
Julian Assange: Well, let me tell you what has happened in relation to that. Normally, we only deal with anonymous sources. Mr. Elmer and his legal team for reasons of their own, which I do not understand, decided to have a public press conference. He then returned to Switzerland and was immediately imprisoned. While an investigation is taking place he is still in prison at this moment.
He has not as far as I am aware been charged with anything. He is still simply in prison during the period of investigation. And we have had an indirect offer through a third party that if we return what they believe to be the data then they will work to acquit Mr. Elmer to be free. So my ability to talk about this subject is of course limited by the fact that the Swiss bank has a hostage.
In a 50 minute interview to TIMES NOW, Assange also said that there are Indian names in the Swiss bank data list. “I have read Indian names he said, in the data we have already published or are about to publish, a comment that will generate even greater interest amidst speculation that it includes the names of politicians and hawala operators from India,” he said.