Assange situation 'not sustainable', says Ecuador government

A third party may negotiate the WikiLeaks founder's departure from London's Ecuadorian embassy after five years of self-imposed exile.

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Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addresses the media from the balcony of Ecuador's London embassy.

Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

Julian Assange's situation is "not sustainable", according to the foreign minister of Ecuador, the country sheltering him.

Assange has been holed up in the tiny Ecuadorian embassy in London's Knightsbridge since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges, which he has denied. The investigation into the WikiLeaks founder was dropped last year. But he remains in self-imposed exile due to fears he could still be arrested by UK police for breaching bail conditions. He claims such an arrest could be followed by extradition to the United States to face espionage charges.

Now Ecuador may seek a third party to mediate with British lawmakers, foreign minister María Fernanda Espinosa told Associated Press. If the situation is indeed untenable, Assange could finally leave the embassy.

Asked for a comment, WikiLeaks reiterated that Assange's "detention in the UK is unlawful", and called for him to receive compensation. The Ecuadorian embassy have yet to respond to a request for comment.  

Watch this: Step inside Julian Assange's office