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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Julian Assange Hides in Embassy

WikiLeaks founder seems to have broken his bail conditions and ran to Ecuador’s embassy in London to ask for asylum. In other words, he didn’t actually care about people who raised £200,000 bail for him and legged it when he had the opportunity.

Julian Assange is currently trying to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime accusations. He believes that if he is extradited there, the Swedes will hand him over to the United States, where he will face spying charges. Meanwhile, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister announced that his country would weigh the request from Assange. WikiLeaks founder has been fighting extradition to Sweden for a year and a half. He was accused of rape and sexual assault by his two female former volunteers.

It is clear why Assange picked Ecuador – this country has a leftist and anti-Washington president. While Julian might miff the US over the move, he has also embarrassed the UK government and may well have caused his wealthy backers to lose their bail money. In addition, the risk remains that Ecuador might not want to help him – the country invited WikiLeaks founder a few years ago to seek residency, but then it quickly backed away from the proposal, accusing Assange of breaking American laws.

Today Ecuador claims that Julian’s application for protective asylum shouldn’t be regarded as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the UK or Sweden.

Although Ecuador has an extradition treaty with the United States, it doesn’t cover political charges, so the country has to satisfy itself that the charges against WikiLeaks founder are political rather than criminal. However, this might appear not that easy, because Assange hasn’t been charged with a political crime. Meanwhile, Assange moaned that his native country of Australia had refused to defend him, though the country promised to continue assisting Assange, since it opposed any extradition of its citizens on charges which carry the death penalty.

WikiLeaks founder fears extradition to the United States, where espionage and treason are punished with the death penalty, while Sweden doesn’t have the death penalty. Moreover, neither Sweden nor the US has even charged him with treason or spying.

As for the attorney of the plaintiffs, Assange’s latest move was no surprise for him, but he expected Ecuador to reject the request.

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