Assange used Ecuador's embassy for 'spying'- Ecuador

The writer is a freelance contributor based in London
The writer is a freelance contributor based in London
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16 April, 2019

Assange took refuge at the embassy after losing his battle against extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations including rape.

Meanwhile, as journalists and commentators joke about his plight, Assange is languishing in the UK's notorious maximum Belmarsh Prison where he awaits a United States extradition hearing for the crime of committing real journalism.

"Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on global law", he said.

Moreno, who became president in 2017, said his nation's previous government provided spying facilities within the embassy.

Ecuador's interior minister, Maria Paula Romo, said they had identified a "key member of WikiLeaks" who was "close to Mr Julian Assange".

Assange's attorney, Jennifer Robinson, said in an interview on Sky News that Moreno's claims were "not true".

"I think the first thing to say is Ecuador has been making some pretty outrageous allegations over the past few days to justify what was an unlawful and extraordinary act in allowing British police to come inside an embassy", she said.

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Robinson said Assange would seek assurances from Sweden that he would not be sent on to America, saying: "That is the same assurance we were seeking in 2010 and the refusal to give that is why he sought asylum".

Ecuador's president, Lenín Moreno, was assured by two British foreign secretaries that Julian Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face the death penalty, according to letters seen by the Guardian.

He could face up to 12 months in British prison for breaking his bail conditions.

In a third letter dated 3 April 2019, the British embassy in Quito assures the country's foreign ministry in Spanish that Assange can not be subjected to "inhuman or degrading punishment", according the 1998 Human Rights Act under article three of the European convention on human rights, to which the United Kingdom adheres.

Assange, 47, was taken from Ecuador's London embassy by British police last Thursday after Ecuador withdrew his political asylum, ending a stay of nearly seven years.

After he was arrested on Thursday, US officials announced that he was charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion over WikiLeaks' release of sensitive military US documents, paving the way for his extradition. More than 70 British legislators have urged Javid to give priority to a case involving rape allegations ahead of the US request.

The conspiracy charge against Assange seems meant to sidestep limits on prosecution potentially arising from the US Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of press freedom.


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