FUGITIVEJulian Assange is to take on spy agencies at a major Glasgow congress of lawyers from his safe haven within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

In a rare public appearance, the Wikileaks founder, who has spent the past 34 months in the building after claiming asylum, will discuss how intelligence gathering abuses privacy in the internet age.

The Australian journalist faces arrest the moment he leaves the embassy as Sweden has an extradition warrant against him for sex offences. Instead the 43-year-old will speak to delegates via video link.

Mr Assange is a last-minute addition to the agenda of the Commonwealth Law Conference at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and is due to speak tomorrow (wed)./

He will join a panel of experts to discuss "International intelligence gathering, abuse of power and privacy". Other participants include Jennifer Robinson, an Australian human rights lawyer who has acted for Wikileaks as it came under pressure from US and other authorities.

Also on the panel will be Adriana Edmeades of Privacy International.

Mr Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012 and has recently signalled he expects to continue to do so for some time.

Authorities in Sweden want to question him about alleged sex offences against two women. He is also accused of espionage in the United States.

Mr Assange has said he believes the Swedish charges could be used to extradite him to America.

Swedish prosecutors, facing a timebar, recently agreed to interview Mr Assange at the embassy, where he has a small room with a makeshift kitchenette and shower.

Mr Assange's lawyer Per Samuelson last month said: "This is what we have been asking for over four years.

"It gives Mr Assange the chance to clear his name."

American authorities have already jailed the source of Wikileaks most sensational information - including logs on the Afghan War. Chelsea Manning, previously Bradley Manning, was given a sentence of 35 years.

Mr Samuelson said Mr Assange was concerned about facing jail in America. But he denied reports that Mr Assange had fallen ill inside the Ecuadorian mission.

The lawyer said: "He has been inside the embassy for over two-and-a-half years now without even a breath of fresh air. No contact with family, children, no possibility of conducting your work, living in a small office area.

"Of course that tears you apart. But Mr. Assange is strong and knows that he cannot leave the building without losing his political asylum so he has to wait."