Is Julian Assange on the move?

WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeGlenn Greenwald calls charges against Assange a threat to journalistic freedoms Hillicon Valley: Justice Department announces superseding indictment against WikiLeaks' Assange | Facebook ad boycott gains momentum | FBI sees spike in coronavirus-related cyber threats | Boston city government bans facial recognition technology Justice Department announces superseding indictment against Wikileaks' Assange MORE is not leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy in London despite his public statements to the contrary, according to his spokesman.

Kristinn Hrafnsson said Assange would only leave the embassy if the British government promises not to arrest him.


Some news reports have suggested Assange's deteriorating health could force him to leave the embassy, where he has lived for the last few years, to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault allegations. 

Assange seemed to confirm those reports at a press conference.

"I can confirm that I am leaving the embassy soon, but perhaps not for the reasons that [news media] are saying," Assange said.

Assange's spokesman walked back those remarks.

"The plan is to leave as soon as the U.K. government decides to honor its obligations," Hrafnsson said, according to The Associated Press

Assange has denied the sexual assault allegations, and no charges have been filed against him. He has said he fears that his travel to Sweden could then lead to him being sent to the United States. 

WikiLeaks — the group Assange founded — in 2010 helped publish thousands of diplomatic cables and war battlefield reports from the United States that had been highly classified.

The U.S. government is unlikely to bring charges against Assange for the leak, according to news reports. Officials told The Washington Post last year the government likely could not charge Assange without charging news organizations as well.