According to Lenin Moreno Assange tried to create an ‘espionage center’ at the Ecuadorian embassy in London
Julian Assange tried to create an “espionage center” in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, affirmed this Sunday, April 14, 2019 the Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, justifying his decision to withdraw the asylum to the founder of WikiLeaks, who was arrested on Thursday April 11, 2019.
Moreno, in power since 2017, lamented in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian that the previous government of his country had provided equipment at the embassy that allowed “to interfere in the affairs of other states.” “We cannot afford in our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a center of espionage,” said Lenin Moreno.
“This activity violates the conditions of asylum,” he added, assuring that the decision to withdraw asylum to Assange “is not arbitrary, but is based on international law.” The Ecuadorian president also denounced the attitude “absolutely reprehensible and scandalous” of Julian Assange in the embassy and his “inappropriate behavior regarding hygiene”. According to Quito, Assange would have stained the walls with his excrement.
Questioned by Sky News on Sunday morning, Julian Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, rejected these accusations, which she described as “scandalous”. Robinson said Sunday that the founder of WikiLeaks is willing to cooperate with the Swedish authorities if they reopen the rape case against him, but that his priority remains to avoid extradition to the United States. “We are absolutely happy to answer these questions if and when they arise,” Jennifer Robinson told Sky News. “The key issue at the moment is the [request for] extradition from the United States,” she added.
Assange is being held after his arrest on Thursday at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he found asylum seven years ago to escape a British arrest warrant for accusations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden, which he has always denied.
The sexual assault complaint expired in 2015, and Sweden later abandoned the charges in the second case in May 2017, because it could not advance the investigation. But with the announcement of his arrest, the complainant’s attorney demanded the reopening of the investigation.
The 47-year-old Australian was also arrested in connection with an extradition order from the United States, which accuses him of having helped former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning obtain a password to access thousands of classified documents.
This order will be examined by the British justice on May 2. If Sweden asks for his extradition, “we will ask for the same guarantees that we have already made, that Julian Assange is not sent to the United States,” Robinson said.
The lawyer explained that her client took refuge in the embassy of Ecuador in the absence of these guarantees. More than 70 British parliamentarians signed a letter addressed to the Interior Minister asking to prioritize a possible Swedish extradition order. “Julian has never been worried about dealing with British justice or Swedish justice,” Robinson said.
“This case is and has always been about his concern to be sent in the face of American injustice.” The Ecuadorian president told the Guardian that he received written assurances “from London that Julian Assange will not be extradited to a country where he may be a victim of torture, ill-treatment or sentenced to death.
According to WikiLeaks, the Australian consul will visit the ambassador of Ecuador in London, Jaime Marchán, on Monday. On the other hand, the Spanish MEP Ana Miranda (from the group of the Greens / European Free Alliance) and two German deputies of the left party Die Linke, Heike Hansel and Sevim Dagdelen, will go to London on Monday, when they were planning to visit Julian Assange at the embassy of Ecuador, reported Die Linke and WikiLeaks. The three deputies will hold a press conference at 09:00 GMT before the Belmarsh prison, southeast of London, where Assange is detained. (I)