London: A lawyer representing Julian Assange has said that the WikiLeaks founder will take Britain to the United Nation's International Court of Justice if it refuses to grant him safe passage to Ecuador.
The threat to appeal to the so-called ‘World Court’ came after UK Foreign Secretary William Hague promised that British authorities would arrest Assange if he tries to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
Assange has taken refuge in the embassy for the last two months to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faces allegations of sexual assault.
Britain had threatened it would use a rarely cited law to revoke the embassy’s diplomatic protection, and would barge into the embassy if Ecuador did not hand over Assange, the Telegraph reports.
Baltasar Garzon, the Assange's lawyer, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that Britain was acting far beyond its authority because Assange was a political refugee accepted for asylum by a sovereign nation and the UK was obligated to honour that.
“They have to comply with diplomatic and legal obligations under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and respect the sovereignty of a country that has granted asylum,” he said.
“If Britain doesn't comply with its obligations, we will go before International Court of Justice to demand that Britain complies with its obligations because there is a person who runs the risk of being persecuted politically,” he added.
First Published: Saturday, August 18, 2012, 19:48