Ecuador shields Assange, Britain retreats


Dennis Gosnell

Assistant Editor

Ecuador shields Assange, Britain retreats

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange emerges from the Ecuador embassy on Sunday, August 19, 2012 in London, England, to thank his supporters who crowded a street below his balcony. Photo courtesy of mctcampus.com

Julian Assange has become an international star, due to his company’s, WikiLeaks, venture, to ferret out secrets of the world’s countries.

The 41-year-old hacker fled in June to an Ecuadorian embassy in London, and was granted asylum by Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on August 16.

This came as a result of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom refusing Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted on allegations of sex crimes.

Reports show that there is no factual evidence that says Assange could be convicted of the allegations of rape and molestation.

Due to the graduations of the legal definition of rape, each carrying different sentences, public officials in Sweden say, at worst, Assange would be facing a four-year prison sentence.

So what has the WikiLeaks head honcho spooked?

Assange claims that the U.S. has coerced Swedish officials into pushing the charges levied against him so that the U.S. could extradite him for leaking diplomatic cables and information.

If extradited to the US and convicted of espionage, Assange could face the death penalty.

President Correa has said in reports that he shares Assange’s fears that, should he allow himself to be extradited to Sweden, he would in turn be extradited to the US.

Ecuadorian Embassy is the battlefield

Ecuador welcomed Assange into its embassy, but British officials have orders that if he leaves the property of the embassy, he is to be arrested immediately.

In recent weeks, a letter was sent to the Ecuadorian government that invoked the UK Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987. This act would allow the British government to revoke the diplomatic immunity of the embassy and enter the premises in order to arrest Assange.

On Friday August 24, Ecuador attended a meeting with the 34-member OAS (Organization of American States) to see if some diplomatic solution can be arranged after the threat was issued.

The meeting resulted in stet the stalemate between Ecuador and Great Britain, and the rescinding of threats of Scotland Yard entering the embassy and removing Assange.

As tensions rise, and the egos of larger nations become involved, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the news. Such situations in the past have led to troubling times and bigger news.

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