Assange faces arrest after he seeks asylum
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while his application is considered. AFP photoWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has sought political asylum inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, has breached bail conditions and is subject to arrest, police said yesterday.
The conditions include staying at his bail address between 10:00pm and 8:00am and “he is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act for breach of these conditions,” a Scotland Yard spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse. However, the Foreign Office said that because Assange was in an embassy he was on diplomatic territory and “beyond the reach of the police,” although it said it was working to resolve the situation.
Assange, a 40-year-old Australian, was arrested in London in December 2010 on a European warrant issued by Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations. He entered the Ecuadorian embassy on June 19 seeking diplomatic sanctuary. The Ecuadorian government has said it is considering his request.
Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while his application is considered. “The decision to consider Mr. Assange’s application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden,” the embassy said in a statement.
Assange confirmed in a statement he was seeking “diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum” and expressed his gratitude to the Ecuadorian ambassador and government for considering the request. The embassy later confirmed it would be seeking the views of Britain, Sweden and the United States in order to make sure it complied with international law.