International man of mystery and world-famous leaker Julian Assange is proactively fighting extradition, defying a police order to surrender to authorities and remaining at Ecuador’s embassy in London, the BBC reports.
The protracted game of hide-and-go-seek Julian Assange has been playing with authorities is set to continue, and legal reps for the Wikileaks figurehead say that Assange has been advised to “decline to comply” with orders he surrender and leave the safe haven in which he has been seeking asylum since his arrest and imprisonment more than a year and a half ago.
For much of the time since Assange was taken into custody in December of 2010, he was under house arrest at the mansion of a sympathizer outside London. But Assange jumped bail more than a week ago, surprising authorities as well as those who put up bail for him under the condition he remain under house arrest.
A representative for Julian Assange, Susan Benn, released a statement on behalf of Assange illustrating his legal justifications for seeking asylum at the embassy:
“This should not be considered any sign of disrespect. Under both international and domestic UK law asylum assessments take priority over extradition claims… The issues faced by Mr Assange are serious. His life and liberty and the life and liberty of his organisation and those associated with it are at stake.”
“Mr Assange did not feel safe from US extradition in the UK. We are all too aware of the abuses of the US-UK extradition treaty. Although Mr Assange has been trapped in the UK under dangerous circumstances, he has at least had the freedom to apply for political asylum.”
“It is in this context that Julian has made the difficult decision to seek refuge inside the Ecuadorian embassy to ask for asylum. Julian will remain in the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while evidence for his application is being assembled and processed.”
Under international diplomatic agreements, police are not permitted to retrieve Julian Assange from the embassy.