Friday, 6th March 2015

Wikileaks founder says to leave London embassy soon

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that he would be leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy in London soon, where he had taken refuge for two years.

"I am leaving the embassy soon ... but perhaps not for the reasons that Murdoch press and Sky news are saying at the moment," he told a specially convened group of reporters about his political asylum and legal battle for freedom.

"The British Parliament and the British legal community have seen the abuse of my rights and other Britons who have been extradited without charges," Assange said, expressing his thanks to Ecuadorian and British people who fought for his rights and freedom.

"There is understanding developed within the UK that the position by Ecuador is a correct one," he added.

The 43-year-old Australian had been granted political asylum by Ecuador, but was unable to leave the embassy due to an arrest warrant issued by a Swedish court for his alleged role in two sexual assault cases. He dismissed the charges as "politically motivated."

Assange also slammed the "unprofessional" media reports that alleged two women he met during a visit to Sweden in 2010 had accused him of sexual offenses.

"That's false. No women have done so," he said.

He insisted that he had never been formally charged with any offense in Britain and Sweden.

Kristinn Hrafnsson, spokesman for the WikiLeaks, said the allegations of Assange's sexual offenses were raised by the Swedish prosecutors, but denied by the women themselves.

At the press conference, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Ecuador would negotiate a "friendly and diplomatic solution" with the British government to protect Assange's human rights and prevent him from being extradited to other countries.

Patino hinted that Britain was undertaking legal reforms that could increase the possibility of striking a diplomatic deal between his country and Britain to solve the political impasse over Assange.

Ecuador was working with the British side to prepare legal arrangement for the deal, he said.

Assange has infuriated several governments, including the U.S. authorities, by disclosing hundreds of thousands of secret files concerning Iraq, Afghanistan and diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies around the world. LONDON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua)



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