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1-min read

I will leave the Ecuadorian embassy soon, confirms WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Assange did not state the reasons behind his decision although speculations are rife that he might be surrendering.

Sanjay Suri | CNN-IBN

Updated:August 18, 2014, 2:23 PM IST
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I will leave the Ecuadorian embassy soon, confirms WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Assange did not state the reasons behind his decision although speculations are rife that he might be surrendering.
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London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confirmed that he will soon leave the Ecudorian embassy, while addressing a press conference.

Assange did not state the reasons behind his decision although speculations are rife that he might be surrendering.

The 49-year-old Australian national, who is reportedly battling heart defect and chronic lung condition, refused to elaborate on the time frame as he addressed journalists alongside Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino at the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.

According to a WikiLeaks source, Assange is suffering from the potentially life-threatening heart condition arrhythmia and has a chronic lung complaint and dangerously high blood pressure.

Assange, whose website WikiLeaks published classified US military and diplomatic documents embarrassing the US government, has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy building, since being granted diplomatic asylum by the Latin

American nation in August 2012.

Police have gathered outside the embassy in anticipation that Assange might end his self-imposed two-year exile. If Assange walks out he is likely to be arrested and extradited to Sweden where he faces an investigation into sexual assault allegations. He may also face repercussions of skipping police bail by entering the embassy in June 2012.

Assange had initially anticipated a diplomatic solution to his problems would be reached within a couple of months. But that did not happen.

The whistleblower has been investigated by US authorities since WikiLeaks published leaked military and diplomatic documents in 2010.

He is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual assault claims.

Assange told the media that he will be leaving the embassy soon but has not confirmed the reasons behind this decision. Assange also said that he has filed a criminal case against the FBI.

"The law regarding extradition in the UK has changed and basic rights are no longer respected in Europe", said Assange.

(with inputs from PTI)

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