Amid talk that of expulsion, which would lead to a possible arrest, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt claims that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange can leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London whenever he chooses to do so.
WikiLeaks Says Assange to Be Expelled Within 'Hours to Days'
"Well Julian Assange is a free man, he can leave the embassy whenever he wants to. So, we want the situation resolved as quickly as possible," the minister said Friday to a reporter who queried the status of Assange. "That's up to him... he's a free man, he can decide what he wants to do."
Meanwhile, members of the press have camped out at the London-based embassy where supporters of Assange have installed multiple banners displaying 'Free Assange' slogans in response to the looming threat of eviction.
News emerged Thursday that Assange will, for certain, be expelled from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, England within "hours to days," according to a Wikileaks release citing high-ranking Ecuadorean officials.
Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno remarked Tuesday that the Wikileaks founder has "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum at the London embassy, where he has resided for almost seven years.
Moreno charged that Assange does not have the right to "hack private accounts or phones" or intervene in the politics of other countries, especially those that allies of Ecuador.
Assange has been held up at the embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was being sought on sexual assault charges that were later dismissed.
But, the whistleblower opted to remain at the location for fear of being extradited to the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.
As evidenced in Article 25 of Ecuador’s 2008 constitution, Assange - who was granted Ecuadorean citizenship in December 2017 - cannot legally be extradited, by Ecuador, since the edict prohibits the extradition of nationals.