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After living inside the Ecuador embassy in London for two years without being able to even step outside, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that he might finally be prepared to leave.
Ecuador granted Assange asylum in August 2012, but he has not been able to leave the embassy, since he faces arrest the moment he steps outside. As Businessweek notes, Assange could be extradited to Sweden to face questions about 2010 rape accusations there, although he wasn’t charged. He fears that if he is sent to Sweden, he could also be extradited to the U.S. for releasing classified documents online.
During a press conference with reporters inside the embassy, Assange said he was prepared to leave the building “soon.” However, he offered no specific timetable, notes NBC News.
Assange did not directly address British newspaper rumors that he was suffering from heart and lung conditions, although he suggested that he may be facing some health issues.
“It’s an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties they would have to manage,” he said, reminding the reporters that the embassy doesn’t have an enclosed outside area.
Assange said that U.K. authorities seem to be cooperating with him, working to “give him safe passage” out of the building. “It’s about time this situation comes to an end,” he added, notes Businessweek. He said that heading to Ecuador is likely.
image courtesy of INFphoto.com