The President of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, has accused 47-year-old Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, of espionage using Ecuador’s London embassy. As pointed out by Moreno in his interview with The Guardian, the embassy has become a “spying center” to interfere with the processes of other states. This was enough justification Moreno gave to have the asylum status of Assange to be withdrawn.
Following the announcement of the Ecuadoran government to withdraw Assange’s asylum, UK police call for the man’s arrest. Assange pleaded not guilty to breaking the terms set for his 2012 bail when he sought refuge in the London embassy. In the end, though, he was convicted and will likely face a sentence of 12 months in prison for the offence. He has also been sued for sexual assault in Sweden twice, with the first expired in 2015 and other dropped in 2017. The alleged rape victim is asking for the case to be opened once more. He also faces an extradition warrant in the United States for the release made by Wikileaks of a large number of confidential documents.
Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, told Sky News/ television that Assange would be willing to cooperate with the reopening of the case by Swedish authorities but he would resist any attempt to extradite him to the US. Furthermore, she stated that the accusations made by the Ecuadoran government were “outrageous” and have committed an “illegal act” by allowing British police to enter the London embassy even when Moreno justified this as being in accordance with international law. She also denied that her client has behaved in an unruly manner inside the Ecuadoran embassy. When interviewed by the Guardian, Moreno charged Assange with the mistreatment of government officials, mainly by making legal threats even against those who are assisting his asylum.
Wikileaks gave their own statement, saying that Australian Consul Clare West would visit the Ecuadoran embassy to request for Assange’s belongings to be handed over and to met with Assange in prison on Friday.