Update 2: On Friday, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said that Assange had indeed been arbitrarily detained in London by Sweden and the UK since his arrest in December 2010.
The expert panel called on Swedish and British authorities to end Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation.
Do business with 5,000 people
Update: At roughly 11:20AM GMT, the BBC reported that the UN panel had ruled in Assange’s favor. However, official confirmation is slated to be made public only tomorrow, so it might be a day before we learn more about how this plays out.
Our original report follows:
After spending more than three years in Ecuador’s London embassy, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said that he will turn himself over to British police if a United Nations (UN) panel rules that he has not been unlawfully detained.
Assange has been holed up at the embassy after being granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012. He was arrested in 2010 in London under a warrant from Sweden over allegations that he had raped two women in the Scandinavian country.
In 2014, Assange filed a petition (PDF) to the UN requesting that he be released from arbitrary detention at the Embassy of Ecuador. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) is set to announce its findings from its investigations into Assange’s case tomorrow.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 4, 2016
In a tweet from the official WikiLeaks account, Assange said he would accept arrest by UK police if he loses his case against Sweden tomorrow. He added that if the WGAD rules in his favor, he will expect to have his passport returned to him and have all further attempts to arrest him terminated.
Assange has been in the public eye for years after launching WikiLeaks in 2006. The controversial organization released scores of confidential documents over the past few years, including a video showing the killing of Iraqi journalists in an American airstrike, secret files concerning the condition of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and correspondence between executives at Sony after the company was hacked last year.
➤ WikiLeaks [Twitter]