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The whistleblower website and its supporters have a notable ally in renowned Spanish human rights investigator Baltasar Garzon.

Heading up Assange’s defence team, the jurist will lead legal efforts to enforce Ecuador’s asylum decision.

“The situation now is, of course, a stand-off in a way,” WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told euronews by telephone.

“I will hope that the British authorities would change their position and give him a safe passage and come to their senses in a way and realise that the right thing to do is to give him a safe passage from the embassy to Ecuador.

“Now, if they are still maintaining their position, Julian’s legal – the head of his legal team, Baltasar Garzon – has indicated that he would take the matter to the International Court of Justice and seek the court to enforce the UK to abide by this decision, on the basis of the fact that, de facto, Julian has a refugee status.”

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