Assange Refuses to Surrender to British Police
MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has declined to comply with an extradition notice and will remain in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while his request for asylum is being processed, BBC reported citing Assange’s representative.
The 40-year-old Australian was requested on Thursday to present himself at a police station on Friday morning.
“Julian will remain in the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while evidence for his application is being assembled and processed,” BBC quoted on Friday Susan Benn from the Julian Assange Defense Fund as saying.
“This should not be considered any sign of disrespect,” Benn said. “Under both international and domestic UK law asylum assessments take priority over extradition claims.”
Britain’s Supreme Court ruled two weeks ago that the enigmatic founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks should be extradited to Sweden where he is wanted on sex assault charges.
Assange has repeatedly denied the allegations and says the case is politically motivated. He and his supporters fear that he may be extradited from Sweden to the United States, where he could face espionage charges and possible death penalty.
The self-styled anti-secrecy campaigner, whose website is famous for leaking hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables, has been under house arrest in the UK for two years.
Assange took refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London on June 19 and asked for political asylum in the South American nation.
Under international agreements, British police cannot go into the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Assange.
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