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Assange Faces Arrest for Violating Bail

RIA Novosti

12:30 22/06/2012 MOSCOW, June 22 (RIA Novosti) - U.K. police said whether or not the Ecuadorean government grants WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange’s asylum request, he faces almost certain arrest, ABC reported on Friday.

Following his failed bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over sex crime accusations, Assange on June 20 took refuge in Ecuador's Embassy in London and requested political asylum in the South American nation.

Assange violated his bail conditions by seeking asylum at the embassy and for that reason he is subject to arrest; under British law, political asylum does not protect him from arrest, Scotland Yard said.

British police cannot access Assange because diplomatic protocol prevents authorities from entering foreign embassies, but officers are standing guard outside the embassy’s building. If Ecuador denies Assange's request and he leaves the premises he faces certain arrest.

"I am not aware of any agreements which would allow him safe passage out of the U.K.," a policeman stationed outside the embassy told the British press.

If Ecuador grants Assange's request, he would have a hard time reaching Ecuadorean soil. The nearest international airport is Heathrow, a 40-minute drive from the Ecuadorean Embassy through central London, ABC said.

On Twitter, British legal expert Carl Gardner said: "It's hard to think how Assange could leave the embassy, escape arrest and get on a plane." Gardner, mused that Assange might be immune if he were to become the UN representative for Ecuador and fly to New York.

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