Quito (Ecuador), Oct 9: Ecuador is considering taking the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in the country’s embassy in London, to The Hague-based International Court of Justice, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has said.
Assange has been living in the embassy for more than a year, after Ecuador granted him political asylum, but Britain refused to let him leave the country by denying safe passage, Xinhua reported.
“We are seriously analysing what we have to do in the coming months to turn to other venues, because we have been reinforcing diplomacy, making one proposal after another,” but to no avail, Patino told state-run Gama TV.
Asked what other recourse was available to Ecuador, Patino said, “Going, for example, to the International Court of Justice to take up the issue.”
It is “absolutely unacceptable” that Assange remains “holed up” at Ecuador’s embassy, after nearly a year-and-a -half, stressed Patino.
Britain has shown little interest “in finding a legal, political and diplomatic resolution” to the stalemate, the minister said.
Assange took refuge at the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in two sexual assault cases and likely to be rendered over to US authorities instead.
The US has reportedly prepared charges against him for espionage and other crimes for his role in revealing thousands of confidential and embarrassing, if not incriminating, documents and videos through his anti-secrecy website.