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Assange to be arrested upon leaving Ecuador Embassy

LONDON--British police stood poised Wednesday to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should he step out of Ecuador's London embassy — but authorities conceded he is beyond their grasp as long as he stays inside.

Assange says he is seeking political asylum at the South American nation's diplomatic mission.

Police said that he had violated the terms of his bail, which include an overnight curfew, and “is now subject to arrest.” Police officers were stationed outside the Edwardian apartment block in the Knightsbridge district that houses the embassy, along with small group of pro-Assange protesters waving “Free Assange” placards.

Telephones at the embassy went unanswered Wednesday.

The Foreign Office said as long as Assange remains inside, he is “beyond the reach of police.”

“We will seek to work with the Ecuadorean authorities to resolve this situation as soon as possible,” it said in a statement.

The 40-year-old Australian took refuge in the embassy a few doors down from the Harrods department store on Tuesday. He said he was seeking political asylum in Ecuador, whose leftist President Rafael Correa has previously offered words of support.

Ecuador said Assange would “remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government” while authorities in the capital, Quito, considered his case.

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In this Feb. 1 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrives at the Supreme Court in London. On Tuesday, June 19, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced in Quito, Ecuador, that Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London, and that Ecuador's government is studying the request.

(AP)

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