UN rules in Julian Assange's favour on 'unlawful detention'
A UN panel considering the alleged "unlawful detention" of Julian Assange has reportedly ruled in favour of the WikiLeaks founder.
In 2014 he filed a complaint against the UK and Sweden and said he was being "arbitrarily detained" in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as he could not leave without being arrested.
He sought political asylum in the Embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault in 2010. He denies the claims.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention - which was considering Assange's request for relief - has ruled in his favour, according to the BBC.
On Thursday, Assange said he would accept arrest by UK police if the panel ruled against him. The 44-year-old said he would leave the Embassy on Friday.
In a statement, Assange said: "Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the Embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal."
However, he added that he expected his passport to be returned and further attempts to arrest him to be blocked if "the state parties [were] found to have acted unlawfully".
The Met Police's arrest warrant is still in place.
In December 2010, Assange was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in Sweden and his extradition was ordered. He sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 and failed to surrender for removal to Sweden, for which he is subject to arrest by the Metropolitan Police.
In October 2015, the Met Police stood down the 24/7 police presence outside the Embassy and said "should [Assange] leave the Embassy the [Metropolitan Police Service] will make every effort to arrest him".
The Australian fears Sweden will extradite him to authorities in the US where he could be put on trial over the activities of the WikiLeaks website, which has published thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published a classified US military video which showed an attack by Apache helicopters that killed a dozen people in Baghdad three years earlier.
It was followed by the release of thousands of documents regarding the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan.