Assange to leave embassy?

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has suggested he will be leaving London’s Ecuadorean embassy “soon”. He said he understood from Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson he would be “leaving the embassy” after two years’ refuge but gave no more details.

Mr Hrafnsson later said the plan “as always” was for Mr Assange to depart when the UK “calls off the siege”. “The world is not coming to an end,” Mr Hrafnsson told reporters inside the embassy. “The plan, as always, is to leave as soon as the UK government decides to honour its obligations in relation to international agreements.”

Mr Assange, 43, faces questioning by prosecutors in Stockholm over claims made by two women in 2010. He denies the allegations and sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in June 2012 shortly after the UK’s Supreme Court dismissed his efforts to block his extradition. Since then police have maintained a round-the-clock presence outside the building, in London’s Knightsbridge, at a cost of £6.4m.

Speaking at the news conference, Mr Assange said: “I understand that Kristinn Hrafnsson has said that he can confirm I am leaving the embassy soon”. But he added it was not because he needed medical treatment, as had been reported in some of the UK press.

Mr Assange used this occasion to dispel “misinformation” and to make the point that he has never been charged with any offence either here or in Sweden. But challenged by journalists to confirm or deny rumours he would leave the embassy soon, he gave a cryptic answer, quoting Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson. Asked by journalists to clarify his answer, he just said: “I think I’ve said enough”.

The BBC: