Monday, August 18, 2014

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange to leave embassy 'soon'

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving London's Ecuadorean embassy "soon" after two years' refuge but gave no more details.  Mr Assange is wanted for questioning over alleged sex assaults in Sweden and faces arrest if he leaves the embassy.

Widespread reports had suggested the WikiLeaks website founder needs hospital treatment for heart and lung problems. But the 43-year-old denied he was leaving the embassy for health reasons.

"Being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight… it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties."

Ricardo Patino told the Guardian that he believed the UK was violating Assange's human rights by refusing to allow him to leave the building without fear of arrest.

With the Swedish courts last month rejecting an attempt by Assange's lawyers to quash the warrant for his arrest, Britain continuing to insist he will be arrested the instant he steps foot outside the building and the Australian refusing to budge, the situation has now reached political and legal deadlock. British police maintain a 24-hour presence outside the embassy, at a total cost to date estimated at more than £7m.

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