Assange Sneaking Out is Not a 'Smart Strategy' - Lecturer

© REUTERS / Peter NichollsWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain, May 19, 2017 - Sputnik International
Whistle-blower Julian Assange is running out of options, after a UK Judge rules against dropping his UK arrest warrant. She said his position in the Embassy is not ‘unjust’, and that he can see the sun from the balcony. Sputnik spoke with Andrés Mejía Acosta, Senior Lecturer at King’s College International Development Institute about the case.

Sputnik: So the Judge has not dropped the arrest warrant held against Assange. What are the next steps for him now?

Andrés Mejía Acosta: I don't know in terms of next steps, I'm not sure what kind of appeal he would be entitled to, but probably his legal options are running thin in the UK legal system. I am not sure whether the Ecuadorian government is in a position to put more pressure on Assange, either to release him or find a way to facilitate this. My sense is that time is not running against him on the Ecuadorian side. He has overstayed his welcome, but I don't think that's likely to change.

READ MORE: London Court Upholds Assange's Arrest Warrant

Sputnik: Do you think that new evidence of the UK's meddling in Sweden's case against him, had anything to do with the judges verdict?

Andrés Mejía Acosta: The bigger question for the UK is that they want to maintain a consistent attitude towards preserving the rule of law, which in this case translates into maintaining the arrest warrant against Assange. I don't think the objective conditions have changed. The UN ruling on his state is not a binding one; the Swedish dropping of the case has not changed the bail system in the UK. I don't see how the stakes have changed for this government in any concrete way.

READ MORE: Journalist: ‘Julian Assange Was Set Up for Obvious Reasons'

Sputnik: This may seem a silly question, but what is stopping Assange from sneaking out of the embassy in disguise, as he did when he first arrived dressed as a motorcycle courier?

Andrés Mejía Acosta: It would put both the host and the resident country at odds. It would be extremely difficult for the Ecuadorian government that would be seen either as promoting or tolerating this kind of illegal behavior. Trying to sneak out of the embassy after five years of being hosted there would undo, and undermine this whole discourse of protection. But it would also continue to anger the British authorities even more, in the sense that he's trying to avoid justice at all costs. It would not be a very smart strategy.

The views expressed in this article by Andrés Mejía Acosta are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect the position of Sputnik.

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