WikiLeaks founder sought as guest at Davos forum
GENEVA, Switzerland - The head of the Davos economic forum said Sunday he would have liked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to attend next month's summit of world political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort.
"I should invite him," Klaus Schwab, head of the World Economic Forum (WEF), told Sunday newspaper SonntagsZeitung. "But it is not possible as he is not allowed to leave Britain."
Assange spent Sunday his third full day under "mansion arrest" at a friend's house in Britain while he fights extradition to Sweden to face questioning in connection of allegations of sexual assault against two women.
"I will wait until Swedish justice clears him," Schwab said.
The 39-year-old Australian denies the charges against him and has vowed that his whistleblowing website will continue to publish secret US diplomatic cables, thousands of which it has already issued.
"WikiLeaks is the expression of a new reality," Schwab said.
"The balance between the private sphere and transparency has been radically altered. Governments, companies and decision-makers must accept to find themselves permanently in a glass room," he said.
"We will discuss this in Davos but our priority will be to draw the lessons and consequences of the financial crisis and debt," he added.
Schwab said 27 world leaders, including Russian President Dmitry Medvedev who will make the opening address, will take part in the forum which runs from January 26 to 30.
The annual meeting in the Swiss mountains was first held four decades ago and aims to bring leaders together to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.