UN report could order Assange's release, says Ecuadorian FM
Updated: 2016-02-04 17:25
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media outside the Ecuador embassy in west London in this August 19, 2012 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]
QUITO - A United Nations (UN) report on the plight of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may allow him to finally leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino suggested Wednesday.
Patino told reporters that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions (WGAD) is investigating whether to order the release of Assange.
Assange's legal team has submitted a complaint to the WGAD in 2014 denouncing the detention as arbitrary. The Australian computer programmer said he would accept arrest if the UN panel rules against him.
"Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal," Assange said in the statement on the Wikileaks Twitter account.
"However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me."
Assange has been staying at Ecuador's embassy in London for political asylum since 2012 after the British government refused to give him a safe passage out of the country.
He made the asylum request out of fears of being extradited to Sweden, where he would be facing two allegations of sexual misconduct, and ultimately to the United States, which has plans to indict him on charges of spying.
Wikileaks, as a non-profit organization, has released abundant classified documents of US diplomatic maneuvering and military operations on its website since its founding in 2006.
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