Moneycontrol
you are here: HomeNewsWorld
Last Updated : Oct 30, 2018 08:23 AM IST | Source: Reuters

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says Ecuador seeking to end his asylum

Assange spoke from the embassy via teleconference at the first hearing in Quito of his lawsuit challenging the Ecuadorean government requiring him to pay for medical bills, phone calls and clean up after his pet cat.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Monday that Ecuador is seeking to end his asylum in its London embassy and hand him over to the United States, citing new rules governing his residence at the Andean nation's diplomatic mission as evidence.

Assange spoke from the embassy via teleconference at the first hearing in Quito of his lawsuit challenging the Ecuadorean government requiring him to pay for medical bills, phone calls and clean up after his pet cat.

He took refuge in the embassy six years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault case that was later dropped. He remains there to avoid being jailed by Great Britain for violating the terms of his bail, which he has said would result in his being handed over to Washington.

During the hearing, Assange said the new rules were a sign Ecuador was trying to push him out, and said Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno had already decided to end his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

The South American country's top government attorney, Iigo Salvador, did not directly respond to Assange's allegations. Last week, Salvador told reporters Assange was welcome to stay in the embassy with the new rules. He also said the United Kingdom in August had assured Assange would not be extradited if he left the embassy.

Ecuadorean officials have in the past said he is welcome to stay as long as he follows the embassy rules.

Staff had complained of Assange riding a skateboard in the halls of the embassy, of playing soccer on the grounds and behaving aggressively with security personnel.

Ecuador's government also objected to his making online making commentary about sensitive political issues in other countries, including publishing opinions about the Catalonia separatist movement in Spain.

The new set of rules were meant to address these concerns, Salvador said.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Jose Valencia told Reuters last week that the government was "frustrated" by the lawsuit and that it would no longer intervene with British authorities on Assange's behalf.

US federal prosecutors in Alexandria, Virginia, have maintained a long-running grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks, which according to one source includes a probe into leaks of Central Intelligence Agency documents to the website.
First Published on Oct 30, 2018 08:20 am
Loading...
Sections
Follow us on
Available On