Assange jumps Bail, seeks Ecuador asylum

Jun 21, 2012, 07:23 IST | Agencies

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange faces arrest for breaching bail conditions after walking into Ecuadorean embassy to demand political asylum

Julian Assange has breached his bail conditions after seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London following his failed bid to avoid extradition to Sweden on sex crime allegations and could now be re-arrested.

Waiting in anticipation: Police officers are on guard outside the Ecuadorean Embassy where Julian Assange is holed up. They have said that they would arrest the whistle-blower the moment he steps out of the embassy. 

The 40 year-old Australian founder of WikiLeaks was due to be extradited in the next couple of days. Assange entered the embassy in Knightsbridge and requested asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.

He stayed overnight while his application was being processed but in doing so, has breached one of his bail conditions and is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act.

Assange supporters stand outside the embassy, holding a small placard saying, ‘Free Assange, no extradition’. Pics/Getty Images

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said, “One of the conditions was that he was supposed to be at a named bail address between 10 pm and 8 am, and it was 10.20 pm that we were notified that he had breached that particular condition.” His dramatic move came after he lost a long-running legal bid earlier this month to halt his extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of the sex attacks by two former volunteers.

Officials were considering his request and said Assange would remain “under the protection” of the Ecuadorean embassy in central London in the meantime.

In a statement, Assange said: “I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum.” He added, “I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application.”

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino confirmed that officials were considering the request after Assange wrote to President Rafael Correa saying he was being persecuted. 

Left with no options: Assange’s mum
The mother of Julian Assange said her son was left with no option but to seek political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy. “I think it’s the only alternative left to get any kind of justice,” Assange said. “There’s no due process anywhere. What’s happening here is you've got a journalist who has spilled the beans and a big superpower doesn't like it.”

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