Julian Assange: Sir Christopher Meyer Says Ecuador Have 'Painted Themselves Into A Corner'

16/08/2012 14:28 | Updated 16 August 2012

Ecuador has backed itself into a corner over the decision to grant Julian Assange political asylum, the UK's former ambassador to America has said.

Sir Christopher Meyer told The Huffington Post UK he was unsure if the Ecuadorians had "thought through what they've done."

"He'll be there forever. He can't get out without being arrested, as soon as he steps out of the embassy [he'll get arrested]. He'll be there for eternity in a small back room sleeping on an air bed. They've painted themselves into a corner."


Police officers outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London on Wednesday night

A Foreign Office source indicated to The Huffington Post UK that were Assange to leave the embassy he would be arrested immediately, despite being granted political asylum.

Sir Christopher's comments came after Ecuador accused the UK government of threatning to storm the embassy to arrest the WikiLeaks founder, who faces accusations of sex crimes in Sweden.

He said Ecuador had taken the "most melodramatic interpretation" as possible.

"What we have said to them is that if we believe an embassy is used improperly we have powers to revoke the diplomatic immunity from the embassy. This has never been done and I'd be surprised if it were done.

"They've decided to take the most melodramatic interpretation of it possible - and I think it's cover for this announcement."

A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are disappointed by the statement from Ecuador’s Foreign Minister that Ecuador has offered political asylum to Julian Assange. 

"Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden.  We shall carry out that obligation. 

"The Ecuadorian Government's decision this afternoon does not change that.  We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act.” 


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