Home Breaking News Julian Assange to leave Ecuador’s embassy in London

Julian Assange to leave Ecuador’s embassy in London


Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving Ecuador’s embassy in London “soon”.

The WikiLeaks founder said he would be “leaving the embassy” after two years’ refuge but gave no more details.

Julian Assange, 43, is wanted for questioning over alleged s** assaults in Sweden and faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

WikiLeaks spokeswoman Kristinn Hrafnsson later said the plan “as always” was for Julian Assange to depart when the UK “calls off the siege”.

“The world is not coming to an end,” Kristinn Hrafnsson told reporters inside the embassy.

“The plan, as always, is to leave as soon as the UK government decides to honour its obligations in relation to international agreements.”

Julian Assange faces questioning by prosecutors in Stockholm over claims made by two women in 2010. He denies the allegations and sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in June 2012 shortly after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his efforts to block his extradition.

Since then police have maintained a round-the-clock presence outside the building, in London’s Knightsbridge, at a cost of £6.4 million ($10.2 million).

Julian Assange would be arrested and extradited if he left the embassy.

Speaking at the news conference, Julian Assange said: “I understand that Kristinn Hrafnsson has said that he can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon.”

He added it was not because he needed medical treatment, as had been reported in some of the UK press.

Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving Ecuador’s embassy in London soon

Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving Ecuador’s embassy in London soon (photo AP)

Julian Assange says he fears he could eventually be handed over to the US because WikiLeaks published classified US military documents on the Afghan and Iraq wars.

However, UK courts have repeatedly ruled that he should be sent to Sweden to face questioning.

The UK first ordered his extradition in February 2011. Julian Assange launched a number of appeals, which culminated in the Supreme Court saying the extradition was lawful in 2012.

After that decision, Julian Assange, who had been on conditional bail, sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy.

He was then granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and the country’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino said he would continue to be offered “protection”.

Sitting next to Ricardo Patino at a news conference on Monday, Julian Assange said his health had suffered during his time inside the embassy.

Reports in UK newspapers at the weekend said Julian Assange had developed a heart defect and a chronic lung condition during his confinement.

The Australian said the reasons for him leaving were not those “reported by the Murdoch press” – but did not elaborate further.


Any argument Julian Assange could not be extradited because of his health was “almost certainly bound to fail” because Sweden has a good healthcare system.

Ricardo Patino said the Ecuadorean government would attempt to meet Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to discuss the case.

He said changes to the UK’s extradition laws had created a better climate for reaching a deal over Julian Assange.

“It is time to free Julian Assange. It is time for his human rights to be finally respected,” Ricardo Patino added.

A UK Foreign Office spokesman called on the Ecuadorean government to help “bring this difficult and costly situation to an end”.

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