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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Associated Press
Julian Assange, the 40-year-old WikiLeaks founder, arrives at the Supreme Court in London,  Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012. Assange's legal team is making a final effort at Britain's Supreme Court to avoid his extradition to Sweden. Assange is wanted by Swedish authorities over sex crimes allegations stemming from a visit to the country in 2010. He denies any wrongdoing.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent over two years in Ecuador's London embassy to avoid a sex crimes inquiry in Sweden, said on Monday he planned to leave the building "soon", but Britain signaled it would still arrest him if he tried.

Assange made the surprise assertion during a news conference alongside Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. But his spokesman played down the chances of an imminent departure, saying the British government would first need to revise its position and let him leave without arrest, something it has repeatedly refused to do.

The 43-year-old Australian fled to the embassy in June 2012 to avoid extradition for questioning in Sweden over sex assault and rape allegations, which he denies. (AP)

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