Assange may be unable to leave Britain until 2015
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been confined to the Ecuadorean embassy in London since last June, is unlikely to be able to leave Britain before 2015 and his hosts are now hoping for a future Labour government to help break the impasse, a media report said.world Updated: Mar 30, 2013 20:41 IST
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been confined to the Ecuadorean embassy in London since last June, is unlikely to be able to leave Britain before 2015 and his hosts are now hoping for a future Labour government to help break the impasse, a media report said.
The Ecuadorean government has been seeking a commitment from the UK's Conservative-led coalition that it will not support Assange's extradition to the US if he goes to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault.
Given the ongoing diplomatic stand-off, Ecuadorean diplomats now seem to have set their sights on a possible change in government in the 2015 British General Elections and approached the Opposition Labour Party for a similar assurance.
Ecuador's ambassador, Ana Alban, reportedly raised Assange's case during a meeting with the shadow foreign minister, Kerry McCarthy.
"Ecuador wants to see the current situation resolved but has lost all faith in the current government's willingness to do that. They have approached the Labour Party in the hope of striking a deal for after the next election. They do not believe that it is beneficial for Mr Assange to be resident permanently in the London embassy," a source told The Independent newspaper here.
A Labour spokesperson, however, stressed that no meeting had been called to specifically discuss Assange but the talks are believed to have taken place on the periphery of a meeting between McCarthy and representatives of the Ecuadorean government in London.
Labour is unlikely to take an official stand on the issue before the elections in 2015.
Assange, 41, is subject to a European arrest warrant since November 2010 and wanted for questioning by Swedish police in relation to a sex assault investigation.
He has maintained that he would travel to Sweden to prove his innocence if the US threat were lifted but until then he is restricted to the South American nation's embassy in Knightsbridge.