AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
The mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange expressed confidence Sunday that her son would make it to Ecuador to continue his whistleblowing work despite a tense diplomatic standoff over his asylum.
Assange has been holed up in the safe haven of Ecuador's embassy in London for two months and while he has been granted asylum in that country, he risks arrest if he steps outside the building.
Asked whether she thought it was realistic Assange would make it to Ecuador, his mother, Christine Assange, said: "I think it is very realistic."
"He's had billions of people around the world supporting him, the US and their allies are almost alone on this one and the support grows day by day," she told ABC 24 from the Gold Coast.
"It could be that the UK government decides to backtrack from this position of being the US lap dog and stands up for its own sovereignty as well as the sovereignty of Ecuador."
Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act of 1987, which it says allows it to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on British soil and go in to arrest Assange.
Christine Assange said her son was worried about what would happen next but that he was still in "good spirits".
"Obviously he's very concerned about the fact that US allies are not only content to break their own domestic laws and protocols in regard to his case... but are now willing to break international law," she said.
Assange, a 41-year-old Australian, took refuge in the embassy on June 19 to evade extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual misconduct.
Supporters of the former hacker believe that once in Sweden he could be extradited to the United States where they fear he could face espionage charges over WikiLeaks' publication of a vast cache of sensitive files.
Australia confirmed Saturday that its diplomatic post in Washington had been preparing for Assange's possible extradition to the US but played it down as "contingency planning", saying there was no evidence the US planned to do so.
Christine Assange said if her son made it to Ecuador he would go mountain climbing and continue his WikiLeaks work.
"Julian is an avid mountain climber. He's been assured that he can continue with his work as an investigative journalist."
"I think he will feel both safe and enjoy his time there."