Assange: I Could Spend 5 More Years in Embassy

Plus: he's writing a song

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2013 11:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – As of tomorrow, Julian Assange will have spent one year in the Ecuadorean embassy in London—and he says he can handle five more, according to Ecuador's foreign minister. A lengthy stay is OK with Ecuador, adds Ricardo Patino. British Foreign Secretary William Hague met with Patino yesterday, but the UK says "no substantive progress" was made. Now, legal experts from both countries are planning to meet, the Guardian reports.

"Our government will not hand Mr. Assange over to the UK government nor to anyone else, and we shall continue to stress that Mr. Assange has the right to benefit from asylum," Patino says. Nor will Ecuador "smuggle Mr Assange out in the boot of a car or through an underground tunnel or something." Still, "We do hope that Mr. Assange is not going to get older and die in our embassy." So how is Assange keeping busy? Well, he's got a song in the works with Calle 13, a Puerto Rican band, the Age reports. Its subject: "The new politics that came about as a result of the Internet and media distortion," he says.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, left, appears with Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Sunday, June 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
This June 12, 2013 photo released by Calle 13 shows Residente, from the Latin music group Calle 13, right, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a songwriting session at the Ecuadorian embassy.   (AP Photo/Calle 13)
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