John F. Burns
August 17, 2012
In the covert existence that Julian Assange adopted as founder of the secrecy-busting organization WikiLeaks, he made a lifestyle of sleeping on borrowed sofas and fostering a legend for himself as a man without a place or a country to call home.
But now, after Ecuador’s decision on Thursday to grant him asylum and Britain’s vow to arrest him the moment he steps out of the sanctuary he has found in Ecuador’s embassy in London, the Australian-born Mr. Assange seems at last to have secured a fixed address. Considering the diplomatic impasse and the vehemence of opinion on both sides, it is one that could be his for months, or even years, if neither Ecuador nor Britain relents.
The address — 3 Hans Crescent — lies in the heart of London’s exclusive Knightsbridge district. Barely 50 yards from Mr. Assange’s safehouse is the men’s clothing section of Harrods department store, one of Europe’s most expensive places to shop.