Tags: assange | expulsion | ecuador | wikileaks

London Newspaper: Assange Could Face Imminent Expulsion

London Newspaper: Assange Could Face Imminent Expulsion

By    |   Saturday, 28 July 2018 02:11 PM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could face an imminent expulsion from Ecuador's embassy in London, with a member of Assange's team telling a London newspaper that there are contingency plans for him to leave in "hours, days or weeks."

The Times of London reports Ecuador President Lenin Moreno wants Assange, who has been living under asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012, to leave. Assange's assistant, told the Times that Morena should have "more spine."

Assange stayed at the embassy after he lost his appeal over an extradition order to Sweden, where he'd faced questions on charges of rape and sexual assault. In May, a Swedish prosecutor announced they were dropping their attempts to extradite him, leading Assange to proclaim that the decision was an "important victory."

British authorities also have an arrest warrant for Assange for breaching a bail agreement, so he could be arrested immediately after walking out of the Ecuadorian embassy.

The ruling in Sweden did not end Assange's legal problems however, and CNN reported on Saturday that Downing Street is engaged with the United States and Ecuador over what will happen with Assange.

According to recent indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller, Russian intelligence agents used WikiLeaks and Assange to distribute hacked emails from the Democratic Party, reports CNN.

Further, there have already been charges drawn up concerning other WikiLeaks items.

Assange, however, says the documents did not come from the Russian government, or from a state party.

"WikiLeaks has made very clear they were not engaged in any way with the Russian state with respect to that publication. There is no connection between WikiLeaks and any of those who have been indicted," Jennifer Robinson, a member of Assange's legal team, told CNN this week:

Assange's attorneys also claim that Assange only published the hacked emails after being in contact with a hacker named Guccifer 2.0, but Mueller's investigation says the name Guccifer was actually Russian intelligence.

If British officials arrest Assange, his lawyers say, the United States would swiftly follow that up with a request for extradition from the United States.

"For us protecting him from US extradition is absolutely paramount, and the most important and fundamental principle that must be respected," Robinson told CNN. "There should never be a situation where a publisher is sent to the US to face prosecution for that activity, so we will, if forced, fight his extradition in the British Courts."

On Friday, Moreno said Ecuador's government has been in talks with Great Britain, and wants a solution to guarantee Assange would not be in danger.

In March, Assange lost his access to the Internet and a telephone after Ecuador said he had violated an agreement not to comment on other countries' internal affairs.

Former embassy consul Fidel Narvaez said he does not believe Assange will give up, but at the same time "he lives in a small flat, without natural light, just with artificial light…[but]  he is made for a big fight and I think he faces difficult and adverse situations with strength."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Department of Justice believe Assange should be returned to the United States and appear in court, but President Donald Trump, however, has praised WikiLeaks, commenting "I love WikiLeaks" during a rally.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could face an imminent expulsion from Ecuador's embassy in London, with a member of Assange's team telling a London newspaper that there are contingency plans for him to leave in "hours, days, or weeks."
assange, expulsion, ecuador, wikileaks
542
2018-11-28
Saturday, 28 July 2018 02:11 PM
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