The News Minute | August 21, 2014 | 06:39 pm IST
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced his plan to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for the last two years; however where he could go from there is the bigger question.
"I am leaving the embassy soon. But perhaps not for the reasons that the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment," said Mr. Assange, while also denying reports that he would hand himself over to British authorities on grounds of ill health.
Addressing a press conference at the embassy, he made clear his fears that the United States would extradite him if he left the embassy as investigations continue into the disclosure of classified documents by Wikileaks for over four years. However if Assange even steps a foot out of the Ecuardorian embassy, he would be extradited- not to the US, but to Sweden under the European Arrest Warrant system in relation to allegations of sexual misconduct, explains The Guardian.
( Video uploaded by The Guardian on YouTube )
Wikileaks maintains that Assange is ready to face the court in Sweden only as long the US does not prosecute him over Wikileaks. Also, another condition they specify is that Sweden should guarantee not to fulfill any extradition requests made by the US. Neither of these conditions have been agreed to.
Assangeâ€™s only other option will be to turn to his home country, Australia. Only once he retrieves his passport which is in British custody, can he return to Australia. However, Australia has its own formalized extradition agreements with the US and Sweden.
Itâ€™s only a matter of wait and watch; more so for the Britain police which has spent at least $10 million maintaining a 24-hour vigil outside the Ecuardorian embassy waiting for Assange to step out.