November 22, 2012

Julian Assange to appear in Germany on same day as cancelled Union video-link

Raymond Brown

Julian Assange will appear via video link in Germany on the same day as a cancelled talk at the Cambridge Union.

The Wikileaks founder was due to talk from his sanctuary in the Ecuadorean Embassy to members of the Cambridge Union Society in a question and answer session on Tuesday, November 27.

But the appearance at the historic debating society was cancelled because of “technical issues”.

The News learnt that Mr Assange will appear in Germany via the web on the same day and contacted the society.

A statement on its website was then posted which said: “It has recently been announced that Mr Assange will be delivering the keynote address via video link to the ConventionCamp conference in Hamburg, Germany, on November 27.

“This announcement comes only one day after his spokesperson claimed that his Q&A at the Cambridge Union Society must be cancelled because his preferred broadcaster, Russia Today, was unable to arrange the technical aspects of the video link.”

Austin Mahler, the society’s president, told the News he learned of the technical problems from Mr Assange’s representatives who said the broadcaster due to create the video-link had pulled out.

He said: “I am surprised to hear about this. We suggested various ways to do it. Our connection was going to be made via a broadcast company who would set up a broadcast van at the union and at the Ecuadorian Embassy but we were told by Mr Assange’s people the company had pulled out. I tried to do a Skype connection with the embassy but it cut out after 30 seconds and was very grainy.

“I suggested other ways to do it but his people said they wanted a clear connection and seemed comfortable in cancelling the whole thing.”

Mr Assange has been billed as the keynote-speaker at Convention Camp, which is one of the largest internet conferences in Germany.

He will give a speech on the digital revolution via a live web stream followed by an exclusive interview.

Mr Assange’s ‘visit’ to the debating club had been opposed by the Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) Women's Campaign because he faces allegations of sexual offences.


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