Although he himself described the decision in quito as a "significant victory," the 41-year-old is still stuck in ecuador’s embassy in london, where he has been for the past eight weeks. Assange should be protected from prosecution risks, especially in the U.S., ecuador’s aubenminister ricardo patino said in the capital quito.
Great britain, however, will not give assange safe conduct, said the minister of the interior, william hague, in london. The country is obliged to extradite assange, who is wanted in sweden for sexual offences with an EU-wide arrest warrant, to scandinavia. About the asylum decision in quito one was "disappointed. The swedish prosecutor’s office did not comment on the decision. A swedish auben ministry spokesman openly accused ecuador of obstructing prosecution.
The brits even threatened on thursday morning, they could also enter the embassy of ecuador on the basis of a 1987 law and arrest assange there. In the afternoon, however, the ministry of agriculture rowed back. It is hoped that the negotiations will be suspended in order to fulfill its obligations under the extradition act. Aubenminister hague himself acknowledged that the negotiations over assange could drag on "for a considerable time". There was no intention to storm the embassy.
Assange, who has not yet been charged with anything in sweden, has exhausted all legal avenues in great britain in order to prevent his extradition. He denies accusations of sexual assault and rape and suspects a conspiracy. The australian fears being deported from sweden to the united states, where he could face life in prison for treason. Hague, on the other hand, said it was not about wikileaks, but about serious criminal charges.
The wikileaks platform, mabbly run by assange, had published countless confidential diplomatic dispatches from the u.S., providing insights into u.S. Foreign policy and the handling of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. The source of the information, U.S. Soldier bradley mannings, has been in military custody in the U.S. For 800 days, according to assange.
Scuffles broke out between supporters of the australian internet rebel and police outside the embassy in central london on thursday. Several protesters were led away by unarmed police officers. Net activists of the anonymous movement called on their followers via twitter to gather in front of the ecuadorian embassy in london.
Assange allegedly had sexual intercourse with two women in sweden in august 2010 and did not use a condom against their wishes. The swedish prosecutor’s office assumes rape in one of the cases. However, there is no indictment. The swedish authorities have also turned down several offers to question assange in london about the allegations.
"We have repeatedly made our position clear in discussions with the ecuadorian government," a spokesman for the british auben ministry said in london on thursday. Uk has legal obligation to extradite assange to sweden. "We remain committed to fulfilling this obligation," the ministry’s release continues. However, great britain is also interested in an amicable solution.
Assange had tried to prevent extradition through the courts in the uk in a marathon year-and-a-half of litigation. After unsuccessfully exhausting all the channels of appeal, he had cursed his way to the ecuadorian embassy.
Ecuador’s eavesdropping minister patino condemned the uk’s threat that british authorities could enter the country’s embassy to arrest assange there. Ecuador had asked the south american confederation unasur and the organization of american states (oas) to convene the eaves ministers of their countries to agree on a joint position on the british attitude.
Assange’s swedish lawyer told the dpa news agency that he expects his client to now be questioned by swedish investigators at ecuador’s embassy in london "the swedish prosecutor will probably have to accept the worst-case scenario for him," he said. Assange not afraid of prosecution in sweden, only of deportation to the u.S. Patino had pointed out that ecuador had asked sweden for an assurance that assange would not be handed over to the u.S. Sweden has not made this offer.