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Assange in Knightsbridge
Guest of the Ecuadorians until something gives.
LONDON (Rixstep) — At 19:40 local time on Tuesday 19 June, Julian Assange announced via the WikiLeaks Twitter feed that he was inside the Ecuadorian embassy at 3 Hans Crescent (a stone's throw from Harrod's in Knightsbridge) to apply for asylum.
He couldn't have picked a better time: both Sweden and England were glued to their televisions watching their national teams in the football cup.
It shortly became clear what the move was all about. It wasn't about Sweden. It was about something far far worse.
The FBI - as it had just become known - had assembled a case file on Assange running to 42,135 printed pages. This from a government protesting they have no interest in Assange personally. From a government torturing young Bradley Manning for two years to get him to grass on Assange. To no avail.
Meanwhile Sweden's prosecutor Marianne Ny let the British Crown Prosecution Service know she wasn't going along with the Supreme Court ruling to let Assange have two weeks to get his kit in order before making the trek to a Scandinavian remand prison regarded as the worst in Europe. She wanted him now.
This telltale impatience was reminiscent of the way the Swedes bent over backwards for the MPAA to start the ball rolling against The Pirate Bay. And everyone remembers how that turned out. And for some, the stench of corruption is still in their nostrils.
So for those reasons and others, Julian fled. His fate is now in the hands of his friend Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador and a guest on a recent episode of Julian's show.
The best coverage of the unfolding drama is provided by RT's Sara Firth and WL Central's 'm_cetera'. Sara is basically hanging out at the embassy and 'm_cetera' has an incredibly comprehensive live blog running already into its sixth day.
Donations to the Julian Assange Defence Fund (through MasterCard and Visa) may be made through the link below.