Payments without support at the Embassy of Ecuador in London
With a revolving fund, a small box and four specific funds of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Julian Assange’s expenses were paid during the almost seven years he was a diplomatic asylum in that place.
This was revealed on Monday, May 20, 2019 by the Office of the Comptroller General during the reading of the draft report on the special examination of the administrative and financial management of the costs incurred by the Ecuadorian State in that diplomatic representation, between January 1, 2012 and on September 30, 2018.
The reading of the draft report coincided with a diligence at the Embassy of London, in which Ecuador was expected to deliver some of Assange’s belongings to the United States, including electronic devices, manuscripts, legal documents and Medical records.
From Quito, Carlos Poveda, one of Assange’s lawyers, rejected the procedure and said it violated his human rights. Meanwhile, Sweden processes an arrest warrant for Assange for an alleged sex crime.
According to the Comptroller’s investigation, during the asylum in the Embassy USD 795 372.71 were used in laundry services, medical services, food, consultancies, communication services, adjustments, public events, passages and travel expenses of servers to attend Assange.
Of that total, he indicates, the ambassador of Ecuador in the United Kingdom authorized payments for USD 418 026 for legal advice (with the firms Bindmans LLP and Norton Rose) and other USD 144 177 for communication advisory services (with the consultants McSquared, Lee Brown and Nill Sookoo).
The Comptroller’s report states that “it was not possible to prove documentation that would allow compliance with the contractual terms” and that, in this sense, “USD 562 203 were paid without legal support”.
Another USD 23 602 was used for adaptations at the Embassy, which included the refurbishment of men’s and women’s restrooms, after the founder of Wikileaks entered in search of refuge on June 19, 2012.
In addition, the control body It detected not only that the food service for Assange was hired without a supplier selection process, but also that Internet expenses increased at the Embassy since the arrival of the Australian hacker.
The increase corresponds, for example, to the USD 5 604 disbursed to the FocusGroup company for broadband Internet service and the installation of a special additional line of the EFM Internet, for communication with the Presidency.
Only on June 7, 2017, USD 966 was canceled for maintenance service and configuration of the new EFM Internet for the guest and for the Embassy’s account with FocusGroup, according to the Comptroller’s Office. The agency calculates that in total there were unsupported payments for USD 7 584 in the installation of new connections and Internet lines.
The Comptroller General also read the provisional results of the special examination for the granting of diplomatic asylum and naturalization of Julian Assange. The document indicates, among its conclusions, that the process of naturalization did not conform to the Constitution or the Human Mobility Law.
It specifies that the procedure was done outside the Quipux Documentary Management System and the Esigex Foreign Service Management System. Also, that the form corresponding to the naturalization of foreigners was not applied and there is no digital file regarding the interview that should have been applied as part of the process.
The Comptroller General stated that at the time of requesting Ecuadorian nationality (September 9, 2017), Assange did not comply with the requirement established in Article 72 of the Organic Law of Human Mobility: “Having resided regularly and continuously at least three years in Ecuador. ” On December 4, 2017, Julian Assange subscribed a communication in which he claimed to have Ecuadorian nationality 8 days before the Vice Minister of Human Mobility granted him the naturalization letter.
Shortly after, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also tried to appoint him as Counselor of the Embassy of Ecuador in the United Kingdom. And then in Moscow. That was rejected by London.
The special examination also refers to the fact that the officials and employees of the Embassy came to apply for life insurance due to Assange’s breaches of safety and hygiene.
The organism indicated that it could not be shown that three ex-chancellors acted in front of the communications that were made from the Embassy. The former employees mentioned in the report have, as of Tuesday, May 21, 2019, a period of five days to present their disclaimers. (I)