There was continued mystery last night over the motivation, intentions and whereabouts of the man at the heart of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks.
Despite accusations that Julian Assange has gone on the run, The Independent newspaper has reported that Scotland Yard has known his whereabouts for more than a month but has yet to receive instructions to arrest him.
Police forces around the globe have been asked to locate and arrest the enigmatic Wikileaks founder, who is wanted in Sweden to answer a series of sexual allegations against him.
But the 39-year-old Australian supplied the Metropolitan Police with contact details upon arriving in the UK in October. Police sources confirmed that they have a telephone number for Mr Assange and are fully aware of where he is staying.
Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency has received the so-called “red notice” — an international arrest warrant — but has so far refused to authorise the arrest of Mr Assange, who is thought to be in south-east England. Until it does, police forces cannot act.
The delay is said to be a technical one, with sources suggesting Soca needed clarifications about the European Arrest Warrant issued by Swedish prosecutors for Mr Assange, a fast-track system for arresting suspects within the EU.
His name was added to Interpol's worldwide wanted list on November 20, but only publicly revealed on Tuesday night. It has focused even greater attention on the man who has been lying low since releasing 250,000 mostly classified cables from US embassies across the globe.
Outrage at the data breach intensified yesterday, with the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan among those to complain.