Live updates

'Hidden microphone' found in Ecuadorian Embassy

A hidden microphone has been found in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the country's foreign minister said.

It was found in the office of the ambassador Ana Alban during a routine search ahead of his visit to London on June 16, AFP reported.

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino at a press conference this morning.
Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino at a press conference this morning. Credit: EBU

Ricardo Patino, the Ecuadorian foreign minister, said: "We are sorry to inform you that we have found a hidden microphone in our embassy in London."

Assange will not leave embassy if charges are dropped

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino (right) meeting with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy. Credit: PA Wire

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has revealed he will not leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London even if sex charges against him are dropped, because he fears moves are already under way to extradite him to the US.

The disclosure was made on the first anniversary of his arrival at the embassy in a bid to avoid being sent to the US to be quizzed about the leaking of sensitive information to his whistle-blowing website.

He said: "The strong view of my US lawyer is that there is already a sealed indictment which means I would be arrested, unless the British government gave information or guarantees that would grant me safe passage.

"We know there is an ongoing investigation in the US and we know I am a target of the Federal grand jury. There is a 99.97% chance that I will be indicted.

"So if the Swedish government drops their request (to go to Sweden) tomorrow, I still cannot leave the embassy.

"My lawyers have advised me I should not leave the embassy because of the risk of arrest and extradition to the US."

Advertisement

Britain and Ecuador 'make no breakthrough' on Assange

The Foreign Office said William Hague met his Ecuadorian counterpart to discuss the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been granted political asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy, but that no "breakthrough" had been made.

A statement said:

Foreign Secretary [William Hague] and Foreign Minister PatiƱo agreed to keep channels of communication open, but made no breakthrough on Julian Assange.

The two ministers held a bilateral meeting this morning for 45 minutes.

Ministers agreed that officials should establish a working group to find a diplomatic solution to the issue of Julian Assange, but no substantive progress was made.

The Foreign Secretary was clear once again that any resolution would need to be within the laws of the United Kingdom.

– Foreign Office

Assange is wanted for questioning over two sexual assault allegations in Sweden and will be arrested if he leaves the embassy building.

Advertisement

Hague to discuss Assange future

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino (right) meets WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Credit: PA Wire

Ecuador's foreign minister will meet Foreign Secretary William Hague today to discuss the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ricardo Patino said Mr Assange was in "good spirits" despite the "limitations" of his accommodation inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been since June 19 last year.

The WikiLeaks founder is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex allegations by two women - which he denies - but fears being extradited to the United States if he goes to Sweden.

Ecuadorean foreign minister: Assange in 'good spirits'

Ecuador's foreign minister tonight met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside the embassy where the Australian has been staying for the past year.

The Ecuadorean Embassy in central London
The Ecuadorean Embassy in central London Credit: REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Ricardo Patino said Mr Assange was in "good spirits" despite the "limitations" of his accommodation inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Mr Patino added that the Ecuadorean government remains "firmly committed to protecting his human rights" and that it is seeking "cast iron assurances to avoid any onward extradition".

Mr Assange has been living inside the embassy since 19 June last year. He is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sex allegations by two women - which he denies - but fears being extradited to the United States if he leaves.

Ecuadorian minister to meet Julian Assange at embassy

Julian Assange pictured on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in December last year.
Julian Assange pictured on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in December last year. Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

A senior Ecuadorian minister will make a brief visit to the UK ahead of talks over the future of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, is due to meet Mr Assange at the country's embassy later today, before holding talks with Foreign Secretary William Hague tomorrow.

The Australian has been inside the embassy since June 19 last year and has since been granted political asylum.

Ecuadorian minister to visit Assange at embassy

A senior Ecuadorian government minister will visit London as the first anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's dramatic arrival at the country's embassy approaches.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino will meet with Mr Assange at the embassy in London, and has offered to hold talks with Foreign Secretary William Hague to try to reach an agreement over Mr Assange's future.

The Australian has been inside the embassy since June last year and has since been granted political asylum.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pictured in November 2012.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pictured in November 2012. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

A Foreign Office spokesperson said they had been informed of Mr Patino's intention to travel to London "and we are now considering a request for a meeting with the Foreign Secretary".

"UK Government officials have been in regular contact with representatives of the Ecuadorian Government, both in London and Quito, about Mr Assange", they continued.

"We hope the visit will contribute to our joint commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to this issue".

Load more updates

Advertisement

Today's top stories