WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be kicked out of London embassy
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Apr 06, 2019,
Apr 06, 2019, 0:48
WikiLeaks claims that, as a result of this leak, Ecuadorian officials have told Assange to pack his bags and that arrangements for his immediate arrest upon leaving the embassy have already been made.
It said Ecuador would use the INAPapers offshore scandal as a pretext and that the country that had given Assange refuge had an agreement with the United Kingdom for his arrest.
A small group of protesters and supporters of Wikileaks' founder gathered on Thursday outside the embassy in London where Mr. Assange has been holed up since August 2012. No embassy official commented on the WikiLeaks founder's status, while British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Assange is a "free man" and can leave the embassy whenever he chooses.
WikiLeaks responded by calling Mr Moreno's accusations "bogus", and that it had only reported on the corruption accusations after Ecuador's own legislators investigated the issue.
Assange has been at the London embassy building since 2012, but if he leaves, he'll likely face arrest through a warrant that remains in effect through the city's police department.
He fears being extradited to the USA to face charges over the WikiLeaks website's release of sensitive U.S. government files.
Even though there have been multiple reported instances in the past when Assange seemed on his way out of the embassy, it's worth noting Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno recently suggested that Wikileaks might have something to do with private photos of him and his family being leaked online.
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Moreno accused WikiLeaks of intercepting phone calls and private conversations as well as "photos of my bedroom, what I eat, and how my wife and daughters and friends dance".
He added: "Assange can not lie or, much less, hack into private accounts or private phones".
"If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher's asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind", WikiLeaks said in a statement.
In October, Assange sued Ecuador for violating his "fundamental rights" by limiting his access to the outside world after his internet and mobile phone access were blocked back in March.
Moreno provided no evidence, but the speech reflected ongoing tension between Assange and his hosts at the embassy.
Last month, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, which is linked to the Organization of American States, rejected Assange's request that Ecuador ease the conditions it has imposed on his residence in the London embassy.