Hague: We are determined to see “alleged criminal” Assange extradited to Sweden
Britain will continue its efforts to extradite Julian Assange to Sweden despite his being granted political asylum by Ecuador, says UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. Britain doesn’t recognize Assange’s asylum status, he adds.
The UK “remains committed” to its obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden for questioning in a case unrelated to his activities with WikiLeaks or the US attitude, said the British Foreign Ministry Thursday evening. The press conference followed a statement made by Ecuador in which the South American country granted political asylum to the WikiLeaks founder.
“The Ecuadorian Government’s decision this afternoon does not change it in any way,” said Hague. “We must carry out that obligation and we fully intend to do so.”
Hague says Assange’s diplomatic immunity won’t be recognized in the UK.
“Diplomatic immunity exists to allow embassies and diplomats to exercise proper diplomatic functions, and the harboring of alleged criminals or frustrating a due legal process in a country is not a permitted function of diplomats under the Vienna Convention,” he explained.
Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on accusations related to rape, sexual molestation and illegal coercion. Still, no formal charges have yet been put forward against him.
The UK does not accept the principle of diplomatic asylum as such, continued Hague, but even for those countries that do recognize it, the option should not be used for “escaping regular process of the court.” The Foreign Minister stressed Assange is “a suspect” Britain is obliged to deliver for questioning on “serious sexual offences” as a nation under the Extradition Act.
Thus, Assange will not be permitted to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been taking refuge since June 19.
“We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the UK,” said Hague reiterating vows made by British officials before Ecuador announced their decision.
Still, according to the Foreign Secretary, London is trying to reach “a diplomatic solution” for the task. Moreover, there is no threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange is holed up since the situation could go on for a considerable time, Hague said. On the eve of the asylum decision announcement, Ecuadorian officials accused the UK of threatening to assault their embassy if the South American country fails to hand over the controversial whistle-blower.
hague you wanker..you cant just break international law..you make me want to puke..