Julian Assange: I could stay in Ecuadorean embassy for a year
WikiLeaks founder believes case against him will be dropped as William Hague admits ‘solution is not in sight’ to extradition row
- guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 August 2012 09.43 BST
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaking to pan-Latin American broadcaster TelesurLink to this videoWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could remain holed up inside Ecuador‘s embassy in London for a year, he has predicted.
The 41-year-old Australian, who faces arrest and extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offences if he sets foot outside the building in Knightsbridge, central London, insisted he believes the case against him will be dropped.
In a television interview broadcast in Ecuador, Assange said he believed it would take between “six and 12 months” for the issue to be resolved.
His comments follow an admission by the foreign secretary, William Hague, that “a solution is not in sight” to the row, which has strained diplomatic relations with the South American country.
Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador after seeking sanctuary in the country’s diplomatic mission in June.
In an interview inside the embassy, he told Telesur he believed the issue “will be solved through diplomacy”, the BBC reported.
Assange added: “The Swedish government could drop the case. I think this is the most likely scenario. Maybe after a thorough investigation of what happened they could drop the case.
“I think this will be solved in between six and 12 months. That’s what I estimate.”
Ecuador has claimed Britain threatened to storm its embassy and make an arrest, an assertion strenuously denied by Hague.
Hague said on Thursday: “This may go on for a long time so we are not making a threat against the embassy of Ecuador.”
While talks aimed at finding a way of ending the standoff would continue, he added, “given Ecuador’s position on what they call diplomatic asylum and our very clear legal position, such a solution is not in sight at the moment”.
Julian Assange predicts year-long stay in Ecuadorean embassy – video
In an interview with the pan-Latin American broadcaster Telesur, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says it might take six to 12 months to resolve the issue of his extradition to Sweden. Assange reveals that the whistle-blower website will soon release millions of emails related to the Syrian government