UK

Julian Assange 'almost certainly' will not go to police

  • 28 June 2012
  • From the section UK
Julian Assange
Julian Assange said he wanted a guarantee that the US would not seek to prosecute him

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has told the BBC he almost certainly will not attend a police station after being served an extradition notice.

Officers from the Met's extradition unit delivered a note to Mr Assange at Ecuador's London embassy on Thursday.

Mr Assange took refuge there last week and is seeking diplomatic asylum to prevent being sent to Sweden where he is accused of rape and assault.

He said he was advised asylum law took precedence over extradition law.

Scotland Yard said earlier on Thursday the notice required a 40-year-old man to attend a police station "at a time of our choosing".

But Mr Assange told the BBC's Newsnight programme, when asked if he would go: "Our advice is that asylum law both internationally and domestically takes precedence over extradition law so almost certainly not."

'Standard procedure'

The Wikileaks website published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses.

Mr Assange fears that if he is sent to Sweden he could be sent on to the United States to face charges over Wikileaks and that there, he could face the death penalty.

He told the BBC he was in an "outrageous situation" and wanted a guarantee that the US would not seek to prosecute him.

He said so far the staff in the Ecudorean embassy had been "warm and generous".

"The staff here are keeping me well and providing for my basic needs," he said.

In a brief statement to the BBC, Scotland Yard said: "This is standard procedure in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.

"He remains in breach of his bail conditions and failure to surrender would be a further breach of those conditions and he is liable to arrest."

Under international diplomatic arrangements, the Metropolitan Police cannot go into the embassy to arrest Mr Assange.

Mr Assange, whose bail conditions include staying at a named address between 22:00 and 08:00 BST, arrived at the embassy in Knightsbridge on Tuesday last week

Ecuador is considering Mr Assange's application for asylum.

The full interview with Julian Assange can be heard on Newsnight, 22.30 BST on BBC2.

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