You have to hand it to Julian Assange: When it comes to publicity stunts, he makes PT Barnum look like an also-ran.
Earlier today, the Wikileaks founder who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for two years, summoned the world’s journalists to hear some big news. The whisper: That he was about to hand himself over to British authorities.
But no. During the press conference, Assange said that had no immediate plans to turn himself in, but that he would be leaving the embassy “soon.” By “soon” he appeared to mean as soon as Britain changes its laws to ensure that he wouldn’t be arrested for skipping bail, or extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald…
Julian Assange plans to walk out of Ecuador’s embassy a free man, avoiding arrest and extradition to Sweden to face questioning about sexual assault and rape allegations.
In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Assange said he anticipated legal reforms in Britain would facilitate a resolution of his circumstances and end the prospect of his extradition to Sweden…
Mr Assange acknowledged that his health had “deteriorated” during two years of confinement in Ecuador’s embassy, but said that his eventual departure would be “not for the reason you might think” – an apparent reference to media reports that he has developed a significant heart ailment.
The heart ailment story seems to have been first reported by the New York Daily News.