19 August 2012, 13:44

Assange declines Australia's consular support

Assange declines Australia's consular support

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who has been granted political asylum in Ecuador and who remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, has rejected consular support offered by Australia.

The Australian embassy has repeatedly got in touch with Assange to discuss various issues, including consular assistance, but the Australian-born journalist declined all offers.

Assange took shelter at the Ecuadorean embassy after a British court ordered his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault claims.

He has strong reasons to expect Sweden to hand him over to the United States where he may face life in prison or the death penalty for releasing tens of thousands of leaked Pentagon files on Iraq and Afghanistan and a large set of confidential US diplomatic documents.

ALBA warns Britain over Ecuadorean embassy

A group of Latin American countries have threatened serious consequences if British police attempt to storm the Ecuadorean embassy in London. The foreign ministers of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA) issued a special warning to Britain during their meeting in Ecuador.

The ALBA comprises Bolivia, Venezuela, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Nicaragua, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Earlier this week, Ecuador granted political asylum to the founder of the WikiLeaks whistle-blowing website Julian Assange, who took shelter in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in June fearing his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

Assange has strong reasons to suspect Sweden to hand him over to the United States where he may face the death penalty on espionage and treason charges for publishing classified Pentagon files on Afghanistan and Iraq and secret U.S. diplomatic cables on WikiLeaks.

UK pays price for Assange row

The long-running row over WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has set the British government back over $1.5 million, The Daily Mail reports. The price tag includes legal and court outlays of the past two years related to Assange’s extradition to Sweden, plus the cost of police patrols posted around the Ecuadorian embassy in London Julian Assange has been hiding in the past two months.

On Thursday Ecuador granted Assange’s request for political asylum. Britain warned it would not allow the Australian out of the country.

Julian Assange is to address his supporters and the media sometime later in the day.


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