• Sweden's news in English

'Assange to stay put until US guarantee': lawyer

AFP/The Local · 19 Aug 2014, 08:53

Published: 19 Aug 2014 08:53 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Assange's lawyer said on Tuesday that he will remain at the Ecuador embassy, despite his health problems, until he is promised there will be no extradition.

The Australian, who has been holed up in the building for two years, indicated on Monday he would leave the compound "soon" amid reports that he
was suffering from a heart condition and other ailments.

His lawyer Jennifer Robinson admitted to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that being cooped up had significantly impacted the 43-year-old's health, but said it was difficult to put a timeline on when he would leave.

"(He will leave) as soon as conditions can be negotiated that allow Julian to leave the embassy while his political asylum, to protect him from the risk
of extradition to the US, is respected," she said.

"And we haven't seen that happen yet."

 Assange sought asylum at the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations of rape and sexual molestation, which he strongly denies.

He fears extradition to Sweden could lead to him being transferred to the United States to face trial over WikiLeaks' publication of classified US
military and diplomatic documents.

Robinson said there remained "a complicated number of legal cases that are ongoing both in Sweden, and the ongoing grand jury investigation in the US which is reason for his asylum".

"We'd all like to see him out of there as soon as possible. He's been in there more than two years and the circumstances and the conditions inside the embassy aren't great," she said.

It was not immediately clear when his legal team would be able to negotiate conditions that would make it possible for him to leave, she said.

"We have been asking that there be assurances given that he will not be extradited to the US, that is and has always been his main concern, and indeed is the reason for the grant of asylum that's seen him remain inside the embassy.

"It's very difficult to put a timeline to this," she added.

Story continues below…

Britain's Foreign Office has indicated the ministry's position on Assange's case was unchanged and that it remained "as committed as ever to reaching a diplomatic solution".

The Ecuador embassy offers Assange no outdoor space or direct sunlight, making for uncomfortable living conditions, with reports that he is also suffering lung problems as well as heart issues.

Robinson did not details what medical conditions Assange was suffering from but said he had been refused permission to travel to hospital for treatment.

"If he is required to leave the embassy for hospital treatment he would be arrested," she said. "This is a very serious situation and is the reason that this case has been taken up at the UN by more than 60 human rights groups around the world because of the impact on Julian's health and human rights."

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden: Russian warships in the Baltic 'worrying'
Swedish Defence Minister Peter Hultqvist. Photo: Vilhelm Stokstad/TT

Two Russian warships equipped with long-range missiles have entered the Baltic Sea after passing Denmark.

Why businesses are worried about Sweden's drone ban
A drone filming in Stockholm. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

The Local investigates what Sweden's new drone ban could mean for businesses in the country.

This is the new top boss of Swedish Ericsson
Börje Ekholm. Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman/SvD/TT

Telecoms giant Ericsson has appointed a new CEO after a turbulent year for the company.

These are Sweden's best universities: ranking
A new university ranking has been released. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/Imagebank.sweden.se

At least according to this global ranking, which picks 12 Swedish universities among the top-1000.

Swedish pharmacies restrict paracetamol sales for teens
The move is intended to cut paracetamol overdoses. Photo: Nora Lorek/TT

Sweden's pharmacies are banning teens under 18 from buying more than one pack of pills at a time.

The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available