* WikiLeaks founder says first batch to be published next
* Says election material "significant" but not targeted at
* Assange remains in Ecuador embassy in London
* Wanted in Sweden to answer rape allegation which he denies
(Adds quotes, details)
By Andrea Shalal
BERLIN, Oct 4 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
said on Tuesday the group would publish about one million
documents related to the U.S. election and three governments in
coming weeks, but denied the release was aimed at damaging
Assange, speaking via a video link, said the documents would
be released before the end of the year, starting with an initial
batch in the coming week.
Assange, 45, who remains at the Ecuadoran embassy in London
where he sought refuge in 2012 to avoid possible extradition to
Sweden, said the election material was "significant" and would
come out before the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
He criticised Clinton, the Democratic presidential
candidate, for demonising his WikiLeaks group's work after a
spate of releases related to the Democratic National Committee
before the Democratic political convention this summer.
Assange said her campaign had falsely suggested that
accessing WikiLeaks data would expose users to malicious
But he denied the release of documents relating to the U.S.
election was specifically aimed at damaging Clinton, saying he
had been misquoted.
"The material that WikiLeaks is going to publish before the
end of the year is of ... a very significant moment in different
directions, affecting three powerful organisations in three
different states as well as ... the U.S election process," he
said via a video link at an event marking the group's 10th
He said the material would focus on war, weapons, oil, mass
surveillance, the technology giant Google and the U.S.
election, but declined to give any details.
"There has been a misquoting of me and Wikileaks
publications ... (suggesting) we intend to harm Hillary Clinton
or I intend to harm Hillary Clinton or that I don't like Hillary
Clinton. All those are false," he said.
Assange had told Fox News in an interview conducted by
satellite in August that the group would release significant
information related to Clinton's campaign.
Assange also signalled changes in the way WikiLeaks is
organised and funded, saying the group would soon open itself to
membership. He said the group was looking to expand its media
ties beyond the 100 outlets it already works with.
He told journalists gathered at a Berlin theatre that the
group's work would continue, even if he had to resign in the
future, and he appealed to supporters to fund its work. He also
held up copies of several forthcoming books.
Assange and his attorney said Britain's vote to leave the
European Union could complicate his situation by limiting his
ability to appeal to the European Court of Justice or the
Council of Europe, a European human rights body.
Asked how he felt after four years in the embassy, he said
"pale" and joked he would be a good candidate for medical study
since he was otherwise healthy but had not seen the sun in over
Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning about
allegations that he committed rape in 2010. He denies the
charges, and says he fears subsequent extradition to the United
States, where a criminal investigation into the activities of
WikiLeaks is underway.
In 2010, WikiLeaks released more than 90,000 secret
documents on the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan,
followed by almost 400,000 U.S. military reports detailing
operations in Iraq. Those disclosures were followed by the
release of millions of diplomatic cables dating back to 1973.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Madeline Chambers and