QUITO: Ecuador said yesterday that it may turn to the International Court of Justice to resolve an impasse with Britain over Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder holed up since mid-2012 in Quito’s London embassy.
“More than a year has passed, Assange is in our diplomatic mission,” Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said. “We are seriously analysing what we have to do in the coming months,” he said.
Patino said Ecuador was considering going to the International Court of Justice in the Hague after trying every diplomatic avenue to resolve the conflict.
Assange, who fears arrest by the US for WikiLeaks’ publication of a huge trove of classified US military and diplomatic documents, took refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy in London July 17, 2012 to escape extradition to Sweden.
He is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities about allegations of sexual assault brought separately by two women. Quito granted him diplomatic asylum August 16, 2016, but Britain has refused to extend him a safe conduct pass out of the country.