Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for more than two months in an attempt to avoid extradition, said in an interview broadcast in Ecuador that he will most likely stay there for “six to 12” months.
Earlier this month, Ecuador granted asylum to Assange, who is wanted for alleged sex crimes, setting off diplomatic tensions with Britain, which said the asylum status changed nothing about their intentions to deport Assange.
Negotiations over the hacker’s fate resumed this week, and Ecuador's government said it hoped to strike a deal with Britain that would guarantee that Assange would not be extradited, Reuters reported.
In an interview broadcast in Ecuador, Assange said he hopes the situation can be resolved within a year.
“I think the situation will be solved through diplomacy, or through an unusual world occurrence that we cannot predict, like war with Iran, the U.S. election, or the Swedish government could drop the case,” he speculated.
He added that he believes the third outcome was the most probable.
“I think this the most likely scenario — maybe after a thorough investigation of what happened, they could drop the case. I think this will be solved in six to 12 months.”
Assange sought refuge in the embassy after exhausting all of his legal options in Britain when the country’s Supreme Court upheld Sweden’s extradition request, The Washington Post’s Karla Adam reported. He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual abuse, but he has said that he mostly fears being extradited to the United States.
Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has said Assange could face “political persecution if measures aren’t taken to avoid them.”
As it stands, Assange must stay in the embassy or face arrest.
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