Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was officially granted asylum by Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa, after months of speculation and days of recent confidential negotiations between senior staff at the country’s London embassy. What is certain about this development is that his asylum grant is sure to annoy the United States and United Kingdom as well as Sweden who want him extradited on charges of sexual assault– an accusation in which Assange says is politically motivated.
What is uncertain is what steps, if any, the U.K. will take to extradite him. Ecuador has already cried foul over an alleged “threat” by the Foreign Office to break the diplomatic sanctuary of the country’s London chancery in order to bring him to justice. Quito responded that “[Ecuador is] not a British colony” and that any move against their embassy would be considered a hostile act.
NPR’s news blog The Two Way speculated on a number of ways Britain could get to Assange, including severing diplomatic ties with Ecuador or arresting him should he choose to flee to an airport. In turn, they also offered several ways Assange could escape capture; possibly hidden away in a diplomatic pouch back to South America?