Will UK breach international law and arrest Assange?

Last Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 16:35

Sydney: British Foreign Office risks breaching international law if it carries out its threat to revoke Ecuadorean embassy’s status to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an official has said.

Sir Tony Brenton, who served as British ambassador to Russia between 2004 and 2008, said ‘arbitrarily’ overturning the status of the building where Assange has taken shelter to avoid extradition, would make life ``impossible`` for British diplomats overseas.

“I think the Foreign Office has slightly overreached themselves here, for both practical and legal reasons,” Sir Brenton told BBC Radio 4.

“The Government itself has no interest in creating a situation where it is possible for governments everywhere to arbitrarily cut off diplomatic immunity. It would be very bad,” he added.

According to The Telegraph, Sir Brenton said he it is ‘highly unlikely’ that the Foreign Office would carry out the threat.

He, however, warned that if it did, life would become ‘impossible’ for those working in British embassies around the world.

“If the Russians had had the power and simply walked into the embassy and simply arrested someone, we would have been in much more insecurity,” he added.


First Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 16:34

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