You’d think if anyone were due compensation, it would be the British taxpayer who have spent millions stationing police outside the Ecuadorian embassy waiting to arrest alleged rapist and state secrets-leaker Julian Assange.
The founder of Wikileaks voluntarily detained himself in the embassy in London, unwilling to leave fearing being arrested in London and extradited to Sweden, where he faces rape and sexual assault charges, and then subsequently extradited to the US, where he is wanted on treason charges and could face the death penalty.
But it seems the UN doesn’t see it that way. The organisation’s legal panel said Assange could be entitled compensation for his “deprivation of liberty”.
His detention “should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected” the panel, made up of five independent rights experts, said.
The UK said the UN ruling had no legal status.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy.
“The UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.”