of Reuters/Business Insider
Controversial Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange has announced
that he will be leaving the Ecuadorian embassy 'soon'.
"I can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon, but not for the reason you might think," Assange said in a news conference last Monday (August 18).
Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, who sat next to him, had this to say: "The situation must come to an end...two years is too long. It is time to free Julian Assange. It is time for his human rights to be respected."
He took refuge in the embassy on 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wish to question him on allegations that he had raped one female Wikileaks volunteer and sexually assaulted another.
In regards to the case, Patino pointed out that Swedish prosecutors have disregarded the Ecuadorian's embassy's offer to get Assange's testimony using video conference, or for Sweden to send its prosecutors to the embassy.
Assange has denied the allegations and fears that the case may be politically motivated, and that Sweden may in turn extradite him to the United States, where he could be facing the death penalty for the government secrets he published on Wikileaks.
In August 2010, a court in Sweden issued an arrest warrant for Assange over the allegations; later that same year he turned himself in to London authorities. A judge then ruled that he should be extradited to Sweden, prompting him to launch a series of appeals that were denied.
In June 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London and sought political asylum. The government of Ecuador granted it to him that August, but police kept guard around the embassy to prevent him from going to Ecuador. He has remained within the confines of the embassy ever since.
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