So yesterday evening, Assange – who realises that a life where people have to wait several days between quotes from Julian Assange is no life at all – gathered together a ‘select group’ of media organisations to deliver the exclusive news that he isn’t planning to leave the embassy (which he hasn’t left for a year and a bit) anytime soon.
Assange said he had been advised by his lawyers that even if accusations of sex crimes by two Swedish women are dropped, he still won’t leave his hiding place for fear that he’d be arrested and extradited straight to the US.
‘The strong view of my US lawyer is… I would be arrested, unless the British government gave information or guarantees that would grant me safe passage,’ he said rather pointedly.
‘We know there is an ongoing investigation in the US and we know I am a target of the Federal grand jury. There’s a 99.97% chance that I will be indicted… So if the Swedish government drops their request tomorrow, I still cannot leave the embassy.’
Asked how he was holding up, Assange pointed out that never having any daylight ‘isn’t healthy’, but that he has a sunlamp and a treadmill to keep healthy. Although he added that he spends 17 hours a day at his computer, which sort of cancels all that hard work out.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Police has quietly pointed out that policing the Ecuadorian embassy to make sure Assange doesn’t leave has cost £3.8m so far. MT is sure the Wikileaks founder will his thoughts on the subject soon…
- Image: Flickr/New Media Days