Jemima Khan Reveals How She Changed Her Mind About Julian Assange

Jemima Khan, until recently one of Julian Assange's biggest supporters, has told how her relationship with the Wikileaks founder moved from "admiration to demoralisation".

Khan, who was one of those who provided surety money for Assange when he was granted bail last year, spoke of her change of heart in an article for The New Statesman magazine.

Julian Assange has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June last year

In her article, Khan related how Assange reacted to a film, We Steal Secrets', about him that she was helping to produce.

"When I told Assange I was part of the 'We Steal Secrets' team, I suggested that he view it not in terms of being pro- or anti-him, but rather as a film that would be fair and would represent the truth . . . He replied: 'If it’s a fair film, it will be pro-Julian Assange.' Beware the celebrity who refers to himself in the third person . . ."

Khan told the magazine how she supported Assange before she even met him.

"I decided to stand bail for him because I believed that through Wiki­Leaks he was speaking truth to power and had made many enemies.

"Although I had concerns, I felt more passionately that democracy needs strong, free media."

Assange has been subject to a European Arrest Warrant in response to a Swedish sexual assault investigation since December 2010.

Rather than face the charges he has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy since June where he has been granted political asylum.

Assange is convinced he would be extradited to America to face charges relating to the release of thousands of diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks.

Last June, Khan said she believed Assange should face the allegations against him but defended his worries over extradition.

Her latest comments show she no longer has any sympathy for him.

She said: "I have come to the conclusion that these [serious allegations of sexual assault] are all matters for Swedish due process and that Assange is undermining both himself and his own transparency agenda – as well as doing the US department of justice a favour – by making his refusal to answer questions in Sweden into a human rights issue.

"I don’t regret putting up bail money for Assange but I did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering to the allegations."

Kahn even questions the message of free speech and freedom of information that underpinned WikiLeaks.

She said: "The problem is that WikiLeaks – whose mission statement was “to produce a more just society based upon truth” – has been guilty of the same obfuscation and misinformation as those it sought to expose, while its supporters are expected to follow, unquestioningly, in blinkered, cultish devotion."

She adds: "I have seen flashes of Assange’s charm, brilliance and insightfulness – but I have also seen how instantaneous rock-star status has the power to make even the most clear-headed idealist feel that they are above the law and exempt from criticism."