TIME United Kingdom

Julian Assange Says He Will Leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy ‘Soon’

Assange has spent more than two years in Ecuadorian embassy in London

In a news conference from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Monday, WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange stated that he’s preparing to “leave soon,” after more than two years of sheltering inside.

The WikiLeaks founder, who is wanted for questioning over rape allegations in Sweden and faces extradition, didn’t elaborate as to when precisely he would be leaving the embassy where he has been seeking political asylum since June 2012. He did say that he wouldn’t be leaving for the reasons being reported in the British press, suggesting that recent reports about a heart condition are not accurate. Yet Assange did also mention in the conference that his health had suffered while living in the embassy.

The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricarod Patin, who was also present at the conference, said, “The situation must come to an end. Two years is too long. It is time to free Assange. It is time for his human rights to be respected.” He also reiterated that Ecuador would, “continue to offer him our protection.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail published over the weekend, Assange said, “Maybe it’s time to think that WikiLeaks is not the main problem here for the West, maybe me and my publishing house are a lesser threat than say the Islamic State in Iraq or, closer to home, paedophiles in Westminster.”

[BBC]

TIME United Kingdom

Julian Assange May Be Britain’s Next Top Model

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London June 14, 2013.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London June 14, 2013. Reuters

The WikiLeaks founder is reportedly set to strut his stuff on the catwalk at London Fashion Week this September

Julian Assange, the fugitive founder of WikiLeaks, may be making a guest appearance at London Fashion Week in September, the Independent reports.

Ben Westwood, son of acclaimed British designer Vivienne Westwood, has reportedly asked Assange to model in his show, which will be held at Ecuador’s embassy.

Though an international embassy might seem a strange choice of venue for good-looking, well-dressed people, Westwood has little choice. His sartorial star has been taking shelter in the embassy for the past two years to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sex offenses.

Unfazed by his model’s infamy, Westwood commented: “I want to highlight Julian Assange’s plight. What happened to him is totally unfair.”

Should the WikiLeaks founder participate he’ll by joined by six other models wearing clothes inspired by Clint Eastwood Westerns and what Westwood called Assange’s “combat-beret look”.

Though Assange has yet to comment on this latest job offer, he is no stranger to publicity, even when in hiding. In October 2012, Lady Gaga swung by the embassy to pay him a visit and in Nov. 2013 he opened rapper M.I.A’s “Matangi” tour via Skype.

Tantalizingly, Westwood has also suggested he’ll showcase a “garment with a Julian Assange print”. Whether this look will be hitting the stores in a few months time remains to be seen.

[Independent]

TIME intelligence

WikiLeaks Teases ‘Very Important Secret Document’ Release

Julian Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to the media inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London on June 14, 2013. Anthony Devlin—AFP/Getty Images

While Julian Assange gives journalists some World Cup predictions

Two years after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked into Ecuador’s embassy in the U.K. seeking asylum, his whistleblowing group says it is set to release new classified documents pertaining to “international negotiations.”

WikiLeaks offered little detail on its forthcoming release except to say it contains information pertaining to around 50 countries, including Canada.

In a conference call with journalists from the Ecuadorean embassy in London on Wednesday, Assange — who remains publisher of the secret-spilling group — offered no indication that he intends to travel to Sweden to submit himself for questioning by prosecutors over allegations of sexual misconduct made roughly four years ago.

Prosecutors have declined offers to meet with Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy in the U.K., his attorney said Wednesday. According to WikiLeaks, “new information” pertaining to the Swedish investigation will be revealed next Tuesday, though the group would not offer further details.

Assange has not been guaranteed safe passage to Ecuador, which has granted him asylum amid a presumed U.S. Department of Justice investigation into WikiLeaks, and has spent two years confined to Ecuador’s British embassy.

Assange’s supporters say the U.K. has spent about $10 million just on policing the embassy in order to apprehend Assange should he leave its confines. He admitted to journalists this week that he had managed to watch the World Cup from his embassy home.

“The reception in this building is quite difficult, but perhaps it makes it a bit harder for the bugs to transmit through the walls as well,” he said, apparently referring to surveillance devices. Assange said his sporting loyalties now lie with his hosts, unsurprisingly. “Of course, Ecuador undoubtedly deserves to win the World Cup and has a pretty decent team,” he said. “But I think there’s such prestige riding on the issue for Brazil that they are the most likely victors.”

In his comments Wednesday, Assange called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to drop any investigation into WikiLeaks or resign. He also said he believes Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia will be renewed should the NSA leaker reapply.

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