Most people assume that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is hiding out in some underground bunker to make sure that no person in authority can get near him to make an arrest, especially since Interpol issued the arrest warrant yesterday.
The British newspaper the Independent has learned that Scotland Yard has been in contact with Assange’s legal team for more than a month but is waiting for further instruction before arresting him. Assange wanted in Sweden on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, but no formal charges have been filed.
In fact the Wikileaks big shot supplied the Metropolitan Police with contact details upon arriving in Britain in October. The police confirmed that they have a telephone number for Mr Assange and are fully aware of where he is staying.
Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) has received the so-called “red notice” – an international arrest warrant – but has so far refused to authorise the arrest of Mr Assange, who is thought to be in South-east England. Until it does, police forces cannot act.
The delay is said to be a technical one, with sources suggesting Soca needed clarifications about the European Arrest Warrant issued by Swedish prosecutors for Mr Assange, a fast-track system for arresting suspects within the EU. His name was added to Interpol’s worldwide wanted list on 20 November, but only publicly revealed on Tuesday night. It has focused even greater attention on the man who has been lying low since releasing 250,000 mostly classified cables from US embassies across the globe.
Assange has supposedly been offered safe haven by the government of Ecuador. However, now the Interpol notice has been issued, it will be very difficult for him to move around the globe unnoticed.