Ecuador embassy officials in London have accused British authorities of inaction after it reported an intruder had attempted to break in to the building where Julian Assange is currently living. Wild speculation that Assange was the victim of an assassination plot spread on social media after Wikileak's official Twitter account reported the trespasser had "climbed this wall" of the ground floor flat in Knighstbridge at 2.47am on Monday (22 August).
But Scotland Yard says it is treating the incident as an attempted burglary, with embassy staff also reportedly working on the theory the perpetrator may have even been an "external lunatic" or "a lunatic [from] within" one of Assange's organisations.
The suspect, described as a male with short dark hair, loose dark clothing and with running type shoes, approached the building down a side alley and fled when he was confronted at a window by embassy security, according to The Times.
The Ecuador embassy in London criticised the Met Police for what it said was an "inadequate response" to the incident, saying it took officers two hours to arrive after reporting the attempted break-in.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the embassy suggested British authorities had failed in uphold the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, saying: "The host country has the special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of any diplomatic mission against any form of intrusion or harm. In this case, the security of the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK is the responsibility of the British authorities.
"The Ecuadorian Government therefore expresses its concern about the inadequate response by the British authorities, who only arrived at the embassy more than two hours after the incident took place.
"The Government of Ecuador regrets that, despite the enormous resources that the British government has undertaken to prevent Julian Assange leaving the Ecuadorian embassy, the authorities did not respond more quickly to this extremely serious attempt an unauthorized entry."
The Met Police said officers were notified of the incident at about 4.50am and attended the address approximately ten minutes later.
A spokesman said: "Detectives from Kensington and Chelsea's CID are leading the investigation alongside colleagues from the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection Command. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue."
Scotland Yard has spent at least £13m keeping a 24-hour guard on the embassy since Assange sought asylum in 2012. The 45-year-old founder of Wikileaks was granted political asylum by the Ecuador government after Swedish prosecutors said that he was wanted for questioning in relation to allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Assange denies the allegations but says he fears being extradited to the US on charges of espionage and sedition should he travel to Sweden. Swedish prosecutors have since agreed to question Assange at the embassy, with no date yet fixed.