Ecuador: Road Clear for Assange to Leave London Embassy

Lamar Ellis
December 8, 2018

Moreno said the sentence for skipping bail would be "not long".

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

Ecuador on Thursday reached a deal with the United Kingdom that would allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the first time in six years, but Assange rejected the pact because it did not protect him from being extradited to the United States, his lawyer told The Telegraph.

Moreno didn't say that his country would force Assange out of the embassy, but said the Wikileaks founder's legal team is considering its next steps.

In a media interview, Moreno said he had received written assurances from Britain that Assange could leave the building safely.

"If the British government guarantees his life, I think it's in his best interest to hand himself over to the authorities", Moreno said.

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In November, WikiLeaks suggested that the United States authorities might have brought sealed charges against Assange, citing a filing in an unrelated case that used Assange's name in an "apparent cut-and-paste error".

Sweden has since dropped the case, and Ecuador says there are no pending extradition requests against him.

There is speculation that the U.S. interest in Assange is connected to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought President Donald Trump to office.

In recent months, Ecuador has clamped down on Assange and his behavior, cutting off his Internet access in March 2018 after making political statements that Ecuador said violated his agreement for sanctuary.

Mr Assange has denied any connection to Russian Federation. Reports in May indicated that Assange might be in jeopardy of losing asylum.

Mr Moreno said today that Mr Assange still faces jail time in Britain for violating bail terms when he sought sanctuary to avoid extradition to Sweden so authorities could quiz him as part of a sexual assault investigation. He faces charges of espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property, and computer fraud in the U.S., and Donald Trump's administration has stated that the Wikileaks founder's arrest is a top priority.

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