Ecuador threatens to sue Britain over asylum for Julian Assange
Ecuador threatened Friday to sue Britain in international venues over the status of Julian Assange if it rejects a proposal to submit the matter to a bilateral commission.
The WikiLeaks founder took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in August 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning in two sexual assault cases.
Assange fears Sweden will hand him over to American authorities for prosecution for publishing a massive trove of classified US documents. But Britain has refused him safe passage to Ecuador.
In hopes of breaking the deadlock, Ecuador has proposed creating a bilateral commission to resolve the issue.
“We are hoping for a response, including one in writing, from (the British) and if they do not do so in a few days we will have to prepare an international suit so that the United Kingdom respects international law,” Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said in an interview with Ecuadoran public radio.
If London rejects the proposal, Patino said, “we will have no alternative but to go to international judicial venues to compel respect for Ecuador’s right to grant asylum, and their obligation to provide safe conduct.”