Ecuador's president says Julian Assange should leave embassy soon

Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London

Camera Icon Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong", said Mr Pollack.

Mr Assange has long maintained the he faces charges under seal in the United States for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website.

"I do not like the presence of Mr Assange in the Ecuadoran Embassy, but we have been respectful of his human rights and with that respect in mind we think that six years is too long for someone to remain almost incarcerated in an embassy", Moreno said.

"The British government has told us that the constitution of Great Britain bars extradition of a person to a place where his life is in danger or he faces the death penalty", Moreno said in a radio interview.

Assange's lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, has told Sputnik that his client was ready to surrender to the UK authorities after receiving written guarantees from London that he would not be extradited to the United States or any other country.

WikiLeaks has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of any links between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

A woman walks past the Ecuadorean Embassywhere Julian Assange has been living under asylum since 2012
Camera IconA woman walks past the Ecuadorean Embassywhere Julian Assange has been living under asylum since

Moreno, however, said Assange had to answer to Britain for violating asylum terms when the WikiLeaks founder asked for protection to avoid being sent to Sweden.

But he said Ecuador was not about to throw Assange out.

A Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site posted thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning. He faces charges of espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property, and computer fraud in the United States, and Donald Trump's administration has stated that the Wikileaks founder's arrest is a top priority.

In November a filing error revealed that Mr Assange faced charges in the USA - although it was not clear what those charges were.

Assange faces a British arrest warrant over violating bail conditions by seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012, but Sweden, which originally sought to question him on sexual abuse allegations, has said it is no longer seeking to extradite him.

USA military flexes muscles in message to Russian Federation
Navy has also challenged excessive maritime claims made by U.S. allies and partners, including the Philippines and Vietnam. She said: "These operations demonstrate the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever worldwide law allows".

Latest News