Assange still holed up at embassy

2012-06-22 07:57
(AFP)

(AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

London - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will remain inside Ecuador's embassy in London until his case is resolved, in a process that could take "hours or days", a spokesperson for the whistleblower website said on Thursday.

The vow came after Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said his government would take its time in deciding whether to grant asylum to the Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who spent a third day holed up in the embassy.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, the main spokesperson for WikiLeaks, told reporters after visiting Assange at the embassy across the road from the famous Harrods department store that his colleague was "in good spirits."

"The request is being processed by the Ecuadorian authorities. They are waiting for information from the UK, the US and the Swedish authorities," Hrafnsson said.

"He will stay until this matter is settled."

Misunderstanding

But he said reports on Wednesday quoting Ecuador's deputy foreign minister Marco Albuja as saying that Correa would give his instructions within 24 hours were "based on a misunderstanding by Australian media."

"It could take hours, it could take days. I have no idea. I assume that if asylum is not granted then he will leave the embassy and will be arrested," Hrafnsson said.

Assange, 40, turned up in the embassy on Tuesday and sought asylum in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Scotland Yard says Assange has breached his bail conditions and is now subject to arrest if he steps out of the embassy.

His conditions were that he should stay at his bail address in a house south of London between 22:00 and 08:00.

Britain's Foreign Office said however that because Assange was still on diplomatic territory he was "beyond the reach of the police".

Swift decision

A spokesperson for the ministry said they expected a swift decision.

"It is our understanding overnight that they are minded to reach a view in Quito today or in the very near future," said the spokesperson, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Three policeman stood guard on Thursday outside Ecuador's embassy, which is a flat in a mansion block in the upscale Knightsbridge area of central London.

Another two plainclothes officers sat in a car that carried a small police badge in the windscreen.

Around five protesters also gathered outside the building.

Correa, who was interviewed by Assange for the former hacker's television show, which airs on Moscow-backed broadcaster Russia Today, indicated that the decision-making process could stretch out.

Check his reasons

"He (Assange) presented his reasons. We are going to verify them... We will take the time necessary," Correa told AFP, adding that it would be done "with absolute seriousness and absolute responsibility."

The leftist leader, who has often been at odds with Washington, said his government was studying Assange's claim that he could be extradited from Sweden to the United States on political grounds and possibly sentenced to death.

"Ecuador is a country which defends the right to life. We have to see whether there is a threat to Julian Assange's life," Correa said on the sidelines of the Rio+20 summit on sustainable development.

Britain's Supreme Court last week threw out Assange's application to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden after a marathon legal battle.

He has until June 28 to lodge an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, after which the extradition process can begin.

Assange is on bail, paid by celebrity supporters including filmmaker Ken Loach and Jemima Khan, the former wife of Pakistan cricket captain turned politician Imran Khan.

Dramatic

The asylum bid is the most dramatic twist yet in a case dating back to December 2010, when Assange was first detained in London on a European arrest warrant.

Anna Alban, the Ecuadorian ambassador, said in a statement on Wednesday that she had held "cordial and constructive" talks about the asylum request with Britain's Foreign Office.

WikiLeaks enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified US information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as more than 250 000 classified US diplomatic cables that embarrassed a slew of governments.

Read more on:    wikileaks  |  julian assange  |  uk
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Montague Gardens 18:07 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - expect delays

Kuils River 18:05 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Analyst

Rondebosch
Korbitec (Pty) Ltd

IT Support Technician

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Wagenaar Clarke HR Consultants
R10 000 - R13 000 Per Month

ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT: PROJECT CO-ORDINATOR

Cape Town CBD
Traction
R10 500 - R15 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Social media is pulling you in and you have the desire to find out everything you know about your friends and you have the urge to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.