British police serve extradition notice on Assange
LONDON - Agence France-Presse
A Julian Assange supporters mask is seen on the steps of the Ecuador embassy where Wikileaks founder has sought political asylum, in London, Britain, 22 June 2012. EPA Photo
British police served an extradition notice Thursday on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London requesting aslyum.
Scotland Yard said they had served a "surrender notice" on the 40-year-old Australian requiring him to attend a police station, adding that failure to do so would make him liable to arrest.
Assange faces extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, having exhausted his options under British law when the Supreme Court overturned his appeal against extradition earlier this month.
Fearing Stockholm would pass him on to the United States, he sought refuge at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19, asking the South American country for political asylum.
Scotland Yard has "served a surrender notice upon a 40-year-old man that requires him to attend a police station at date and time of our choosing," a spokeskan said.
"This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.
"He remains in breach of his bail conditions. Failing to surrender would be a further breach of conditions and he is liable to arrest." Assange fears that from Sweden, he will be extradited to the United States to face possible espionage charges, after releasing more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website.