LONDON: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday completed 365 days of asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
When Assange first made his asylum bid 365 days ago, the tense standoff that ensued seemed likely to ignite an international incident.
British authorities “warned” Ecuador that they could raid its embassy and arrest Julian Assange if he was not handed over, a move the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister charged would be a “flagrant violation” of international law.
Although the situation has significantly calmed since then, the UK’s commitment to arresting Assange remains unwavering.
Britainhas vowed it will do everything in its power to block Assange’s passage toEcuadordespite being granted asylum by Quitoin August 2012. Downing Street commitment to securing Assange’s extradition to Sweden, where is wanted for questioning over sex crime allegations by two women, has manifested itself in a year-long police presence outside of the embassy building in Knightsbridge, London. As of Wednesday, the Telegraph estimates that the policing the Ecuadorian Embassy has cost British taxpayers in excess of $6.6 million dollars.
On Monday, following talks between Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and his British counterpart William Hague, both sides agreed to keep the channels of communication open, but “no breakthrough” was made on the Assange case.