The vow came after Ecuador's president Rafael Correa said his government would take its time in deciding whether to grant asylum to the Australian anti-secrecy campaigner, who spent a third day holed up in the embassy. Kristinn Hrafnsson, the main spokesman for WikiLeaks, told reporters after visiting Assange at the embassy across the road from the famous Harrods department store that his colleague was "in good spirits."
"The request is being processed by the Ecuadorian authorities. They are waiting for information from the UK, the US and the Swedish authorities," Hrafnsson said. "He will stay until this matter is settled." But he said reports yesterday quoting Ecuador's deputy foreign minister Marco Albuja as saying that Correa would give his instructions within 24 hours were "based on a misunderstanding by Australian media."
"It could take hours, it could take days. I have no idea. I assume that if asylum is not granted then he will leave the embassy and will be arrested," Hrafnsson said.
Assange, 40, turned up in the embassy on Tuesday and sought asylum in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault. Scotland Yard says Assange has breached his bail conditions and is now subject to arrest if he steps out of the embassy. His conditions were that he should stay at his bail address in a house south of London between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am.
Britain's Foreign Office said, however, that because Assange was still on diplomatic territory he was "beyond the reach of the police".