Doubt remains over Assange future at Ecuador embassy amid election dispute


Julian Assange's future at the Ecuadorian embassy in London remains uncertain after a presidential hopeful who threatened to kick him out refused to accept electoral defeat.

During campaigning in Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso said he would evict the WikiLeaks founder within 30 days of taking office, whereas rival Lenin Moreno said Mr Assange could stay.

Ruling party candidate Mr Moreno edged the run-off vote on Sunday with 51% of the vote.

Mr Lasso, who had earlier declared victory following favourable exit polls, branded the result "very sickening" and said he will challenge the counts in all of Ecuador's 24 provinces.

Mr Assange has not left Ecuador's embassy, tucked behind Harrods in Knightsbridge, since he walked through the door seeking political asylum in June 2012.

He is wanted in Sweden over a sex allegation dating back to 2010, but he fears he will be extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he complies with Swedish authorities.

The Metropolitan Police, which has spent £12 million on a 24-hour guard outside the building, has said officers will arrest him if he leaves.

In March a Swedish prosecutor visited the embassy to question Mr Assange over the allegations, although a very different visitor grabbed headlines in recent months.

Former Playboy model and Baywatch star Pamela Anderson dropped in on Mr Assange in October and again in February, saying she was "concerned" about his health and his family.

She told the Press Association: "I just hope that by some miracle he's set free."

Mr Assange has offered to leave the building on several occasions if his "rights are respected" by US authorities.

A United Nations working group last year found he was being "arbitrarily detained" by the UK and Sweden.