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Montevideo, June 26th 2019 - 18:12 UTC

 

 

UK to protest to Ecuador for harboring Assange; policing the embassy has cost 18.8m dollars

Friday, August 14th 2015 - 08:32 UTC
Full article 41 comments
“Ecuador must recognize that its decision to harbor Mr. Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice...” said Swire  “Ecuador must recognize that its decision to harbor Mr. Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice...” said Swire
Assange sought asylum three years ago in the Ecuador embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, fearing he would then be sent to the US Assange sought asylum three years ago in the Ecuador embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, fearing he would then be sent to the US

The UK is to make a formal protest to the government of Ecuador over the country's decision to “harbor” Julian Assange, the Foreign Office has said. The Wikileaks co-founder sought asylum at London's Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden.

 UK officials said the bill for policing the embassy, which stands at £12m ($18.8m; €16.8m), was “unacceptable”. Earlier, Swedish prosecutors dropped two sex assault claims against Mr. Assange, who had denied the claims.

Assange still faces the more serious accusation of rape, which he also denies.

The British Ambassador in Quito, Ecuador's capital is to make the formal protest to the Ecuadorean government on Thursday.

“Ecuador must recognize that its decision to harbor Mr. Assange more than three years ago has prevented the proper course of justice... It is completely unacceptable that the British taxpayer has had to foot the bill for this abuse of diplomatic relations,” said Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire.

Mr. Swire said the UK “continues to have a legal obligation” to extradite Mr. Assange over the rape allegation.

“I have instructed our ambassador in Quito to reiterate to Ecuador that the continuing failure... to bring this situation to an end is being seen as a growing stain on the country's reputation,” he added.

Mr. Assange sought asylum three years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, fearing he would then be sent to the US and put on trial for releasing secret American documents. The UK has paid for policing around the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London, for the past three years.

The formal protest comes after Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into an allegation of sexual molestation and an accusation of unlawful coercion against Assange because they ran out of time to question him.

An additional alleged incident of sexual molestation will be “time barred” - that is, time will run out to question Assange - on 18 August.

The Swedish statement also said an allegation of rape was due to expire on 17 August 2020, but that investigation would continue. The alleged events took place in August 2010.

Assange said he was “extremely disappointed”, adding the Swedish prosecutor had avoided hearing his side of the story. Under Swedish law, charges cannot be laid without interviewing the suspect.

Top Comments

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  • Skip

    Good hope he stays in there until 2020 and then gets arrested and sentenced for skipping bail.

    http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2015/08/why-wont-julian-assange-condemn-ecuadors-spying-software/

    Seems one's principles can be ignored when it suits one. It's all about the evil west and not China, Russia or Ecuador.

    Love it. This guy will go down as a footnote in history at best. Just like his failure of a political party in Australia already has.

    Aug 14th, 2015 - 09:56 am 0
  • ElaineB

    Assange is all about Assange. He can rot there until 2020. :) It is worth every penny of tax-payers money because the bigger picture is that every law-breaker will find some idiot country's Embassy to hole up in and evade the law. The example has to be made.

    Aug 14th, 2015 - 10:25 am 0
  • Englander

    Can't understand why UK just doesn't break off diplomatic relations with Ecuador.
    We could then confiscate the former embassy and sell it off to pay Police costs.
    Couldn't care less whether Assange vacates with the rest of them and flies back to Ecuador.
    Definitely no more UK or European foreign aid to Ecuador.

    Aug 14th, 2015 - 12:43 pm 0
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