UK Threatens to Storm Ecuador Embassy in London to Get WikiLeaks Founder Assange (Update)
Update: Ecuador has considered Assange's request and following Sweden's refusal to guarantee that Assange would not be further extradited to the United States, have granted Assange asylum. The UK, in response, have said that they do not accept the principle of political asylum. Even with his asylum granted now, UK police can stop the vehicle or helicopter he would be travelling in to get him out of the country. To add to that, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague also said no one, least of all Ecuador, "should be in any doubt that we are determined to carry out our legal obligation to see Mr Assange extradited to Sweden."
This reads like a scene from Modern Warfare.
Wanted for questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been taking refuge in Ecuador's London Embassy since June. He fears being extradited as he claims that it is a ruse to further extradite him to the United States, where he might be tried for his website's release of controversial and secret documents.
Now, Ecuadorean officials in the Ecuador embassy at London have reportedly received a clear and written threat that UK authorities would storm their compound if they refuse to hand Assange over.
“Today we’ve received a threat by the United Kingdom, a clear and written threat that they could storm our embassy in London if Ecuador refuses to hand in Julian Assange,” Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters.
In response, the UK Foreign Office said:
We have consistently made our position clear in our discussions with the government of Ecuador.
The UK has a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sexual offences and we are remain determined to fulfil this obligation.
We have an obligation to extradite Mr Assange and it is only right that we give Ecuador the full picture.
Ecuador plans to arrive at a decision regarding Assange's request for asylum later today.