London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said he will turn himself over to British police tomorrow if a UN panel rules he has not been arbitrarily detained, after spending years in the Ecuadoran embassy in London.
"Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal," he said in a statement on Thursday.
"However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me." Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in west London for more than three years in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations, a charge he has denied.
The Australian WikiLeaks founder fears he could eventually face extradition to the US to be put on a trial over the leak of hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents. In September 2014, he filed a complaint against Sweden and Britain to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention claiming his confinement in the embassy amounts to illegal detention.
Any decision by the group would not be legally binding, but other people have reportedly been released in the past on the basis of its rulings.