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WikiLeaks founder says he will leave embassy in London 'soon'


08-19-2014 10:43 BJT

Ecuador is seeking a meeting with the UK government to discuss the two-year deadlock over Assange, who is wanted in both Sweden and the United States. The request for talks comes as the 43-year-old Australian announced he would soon be leaving Ecuador’s London Embassy, but did not give more details. 

The WikiLeaks founder has been holed up here in Ecuador’s London Embassy for two years, to avoid extradition to Sweden where Julian Assange is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assaults. He added, without saying how, when or why that ’soon’ he would be departing the Ecuadorian Embassy.

"I am leaving the embassy soon," said Julian Assage, the founder of Wilileaks. 

After a weekend of British media speculation that Assange was leaving for medical treatment, he admitted his health had been affected by his two-year confinement, but that wasn’t the reason.

"It is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough in difficulties," said Assage.

The WikiLeaks organization quickly played down the comment. A spokesperson rushed to clarify, saying Assange spoke in "hope."

"He said that he would hope that he would be able to walk out a free man very soon. And we all agree to that," said Kristinn Hrafnsson, Spokesman of Wikileaks.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuador Embassy two years ago, when his legal battle to prevent his extradition to Sweden was exhausted.

The WikiLeaks founder fears that, from Sweden, he’d face further extradition to the U-S where he could be tried for his part in one of the largest leaks of military information in history.

Ecuador’s foreign minister says he’d seek talks with his UK counterpart.

"The situation must come to an end. Two years is simply too long. We continue to offer him our protection. We continue to be ready to talk with the British government and the Swedish governments to find a solution," said Ricardo Patino, Eduadorian Foreign Minister.

As Ecuador’s foreign minister departed the embassy, it was apparent his reluctant guest would remain until an agreement was negotiated.

The British government’s position remains unchanged. Should Julian Assange leave that building he will be arrested and health problems or not, he will be extradited to Sweden within ten days. 

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