August 16, 2012 / 4:28 PM / 6 years ago

UK's Hague says will not give Assange safe passage

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will not give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange safe passage out of the country and is determined to extradite him to Sweden, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday.

Ecuador’s decision to grant Assange political asylum should not be used as a way for him to escape the legal process, Hague added. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

“We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so,” Hague told a news conference in London. “The United Kingdom does not recognize the principle of diplomatic asylum.”

The situation could go on for a considerable time and there is no threat to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Assange is holed up, Hague said.

Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; Editing by Matt Falloon

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