The Government of Ecuador reserved today (March 26, 2019) the right to take legal action against the founder of WikiLeaks, the Australian Julian Assange, by leaked cables in that network that supposedly affect Lenin Moreno, the president of the South American country who has him protected in his embassy in London.
“The truth is that we are very surprised, not only because of that and other actions that Mr. Assange and his lawyers have had” against the Government, said on Tuesday at a press conference the Ecuadorian chancellor, José Valencia.
He assured that before this and “other declarations or pronouncements or conducts of Mr. Assange”, Ecuador will proceed in accordance with international law. When the government has to exercise these actions, “we will apply them in a sustained but firm manner,” said the head of Ecuadorian diplomacy.
He referred to some cables leaked by WikiLeaks in which they assure that Moreno tried to “sell” to the United States the custody of Assange, in exchange for a debt relief for Ecuador. The Australian has been a refugee at the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012 and is protected by the South American State that sheltered him to avoid possible extradition to the US, where he fears being convicted for leaking diplomatic cables that embarrassed Washington and other governments.
Valencia recalled that the Executive of Ecuador has ratified his protection to Assange, although he has repeatedly called attention to his comments and actions, especially since Moreno took command of the country in May 2017.
Assange was protected since the government of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017), ancestor of Moreno, an ex-religious who became, after coming to power, one of his most bitter political rivals.
Foreign Minister Valencia recalled that the latest judicial decisions in the country, as well as those issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, have been favorable to the Ecuadorian Government in response to requests for precautionary measures presented by Assange’s lawyers.
These judicial decisions have clearly demonstrated that “the approach and action of the Ecuadorian Government are focused and follow international law to the letter,” he said. (I)