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Argy bargy outside embassy after UK 'threatened' to haul out Wikileaker

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Updated 1430 GMT Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño has reportedly told a press conference that Britain threatened to attack the nation’s London Embassy if it did not hand over WikiLeaker Julian Assange.

The threat was apparently made in writing. The document is not present on WikiLeaks at the time of writing. Assange is currently holed up in the embassy seeing political asylum.

Patiño also said that Ecuador will make known its decision about whether or not to offer asylum to Assange tomorrow at 0700 Ecuador time (noon GMT Thursday) - see the latest update below. The minister has since tweeted "Advertimos que se ha aumentado inexplicablemente presencia de policia británica alrededor de embajada ecuatoriana en Londres", which Google translates as "We note that inexplicably has increased police presence around British Ecuadorian embassy in London".

If the South American nation does offer Assange the chance to settle there, the Leaker-in-Chief has the problem of emerging from its London embassy and travelling to an airport without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions. Just how Assange, or his Ecuadorian hosts, propose to pull off that trick remains to be seen.

WikiLawyers are doubtless hard at work behind the scenes figuring it out.

Update at 0400 GMT

Many reports state an increased Police presence outside the Ecuadoran embassy. Whether the Police are there to detain Assange or as a response to protestors at the scene is not known.

WikiLeaks has issued a statement on the affair which calls for the UN to meet, caretaker Prime Minister William Hague to resign and for rainbow fields to be opened so unicorns can graze freely therein the UK to respect Ecuador's sovereignty and rights to offer asylum.

Update at 1430 GMT

Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador. "It is a significant victory for myself, and my people. Things will probably get more stressful now," the Wikileaker-in-chief said. The UK government said the move would not affect Blighty's obligation to extradite him to Sweden. ®

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