Julian Assange to leave Ecuadorian embassy in London 'soon'

Monday 18 August 2014 23.27
Julian Assange entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden
Julian Assange entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been for two years, "soon".

He entered the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual assault against two women.

He faces arrest by the British authorities once he leaves as he is the subject of a European warrant.

Mr Assange said his health has suffered during his time at the embassy.

WikiLeaks repeatedly drove the global news agenda with revelations of the behind-the-scenes activities of governments around the world.

From confidential assessments by US diplomats of Chinese leaders to revised body counts in Iraq, the WikiLeaks documents provided the public with an unprecedented look under the hood of international politics.

In July, a Swedish court upheld an arrest warrant against Mr Assange for the alleged sexual assault.

The Stockholm District Court reviewed the arrest warrant, which was issued in late 2010, for incidents of rape and sexual molestation that allegedly took place that year, claims Mr Assange denies.

Mr Assange sought refuge in Ecuador's embassy in Britain in June 2012 after having exhausted all legal options in the British courts to avoid being extradited to Sweden.

He has said he fears that being sent to Sweden would be a pretext for transferring him to the United States, where WikiLeaks sparked uproar with its publication of thousands of secret documents.

Mr Assange's legal team had argued that Swedish prosecutors have dragged out the case unreasonably long by not interviewing him at the embassy.