Julian Assange says he will allow arrest if U.N. rules against him

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange announced Wednesday that he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London and accept arrest if the U.N. panel rules against him.
By Adam Widmer | Feb 21, 2016
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will allow British officials to arrest him if a UN panel investigating his case rules against him, he said in a statement on Thursday. Assange, 44, has been staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2002 to avoid extradition to Sweden. He is wanted in the Scandinavian country for questioning over rape allegations in 2010 which the Australian denies.

"Should the U.N. announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal," said Assange in a statement posted on the WikiLeaks Twitter account.

"However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me."

The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is expected to announce its verdict Friday on whether Assange is being detained illegally. The decision comes after more than 16 months after the man filed a complaint with the panel about his detention. The panel rules over whether a person's imprisonment or detention is lawful and often leads to releases. Assange argued in his submission that his time in the embassy constituted arbitrary detention.

Assange fears that Sweden may extradite him to the United States, where he could be put on trial over WikiLeaks' publication of classified military and diplomatic documents, which was one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.

 

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