Posted 5 years ago on June 30, 2012, 11:40 a.m. EST by minhaalma
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Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Rejects Police Order to Surrender
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, has rejected a police order asking him to surrender as part of his extradition process.
Met officers sent a note to Assange in the embassy on Thursday asking him to give up. But Assange said in a telephone interview to the BBC that he would almost certainly not go to the police.
"Our advice is that asylum law both internationally and domestically in the UK takes precedence over extradition law, so the answer is almost certainly not," Assange told the BBC.
The 40-year-old Australian, in a surprise move, fled his house arrest and entered the Ecuadorian embassy seeking political asylum in the country. This came immediately after the Supreme Court refused to take up the case against his extradition to Sweden where he is facing sexual assault charges.
Assange feared that once he is extradited to Sweden, he would once again be packed to the United States where he may even face the death penalty for publishing the Wikileaks cables. The moment Assange steps out of the embassy building, he faces arrest for failing to comply with his bail terms.
"The MPS have this morning, Thursday 28 June, served a surrender notice upon a 40-year-old man that requires him to attend a police station at a date and time of our choosing. This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process," a Scotland Yard police spokesperson was quoted by the Guardian.
Assange is out of reach of the police, as he is presently in an international property. Ecuador is carefully considering Assange's asylum as the case is highly sensitive and complicated. The president of Ecuador Rafael Correa is a big fan of Wikileaks and the country relatively hostile to the US. The Ecuadorian ambassador to the UK has flown to his home country to discuss Assange's asylum plea. Meanwhile, supporters of Wikileaks and Assange including celebrities have appealed for considering his asylum.
Just Foreign Policy, a campaign group, delivered a letter duly signed by more than 4,000 supporters to Correa earlier.
"We also call on you to grant Mr Assange political asylum because the 'crime' that he has committed is that of practising journalism," said the letter, according to the Guardian.
Although Assange is given asylum in Ecuador, it is unlikely for him to reach the country as he will be arrested once he steps out of the embassy building.