This morning, Julian Assange is surrounded by London police who want to arrest him and fawning fans who wants to defend him, but there's no easy way out for the WikiLeaks founder. His surprise request for political asylum at the Ecuador embassy in London Thursday is fraught with diplomatic complications, according to legal experts, but so long as he stays in the embassy, British authorities will not arrest him. So what happens next? Here's the latest on the mystery man's sticky situation.
Can Ecuador even help him? If Ecuador does grant Assange political asylum, whisking him out of Britain won't be as easy as it may sound. This morning, British police are standing guard outside the Ecuador embassy to arrest Assange for violating the terms of his bail, which includes a nighttime curfew, reports the Associated Press. And although police concede they can't lay their hands on him so long as he stays inside the embassy, that doesn't mean he can easily get to Ecuador. As The Guardian's legal blogger Joshua Rozenberg explains, he still needs to get to the airport somehow. "The police will not enter a foreign embassy to make an arrest," he writes. "But short of giving Assange Ecuadorian diplomatic status or hiding him in a rather large diplomatic bag, there seems no way in which he can get to Heathrow, let alone Ecuador, without being arrested for breach of his bail conditions."