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Archive for Ecuador

Newsline: Assange isn’t leaving the Ecuadorian embassy anytime soon

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may stay holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London after a British judge ruled Tuesday not to drop charges against him — but the hacktivist still maintains hope of walking free. Assange, 46, has hidden out in the embassy for the last five years, avoiding extradition to Sweden on rape charges, as well as a bail-violation rap in the UK. Sweden dropped the rape case against him, but the Brits still want to take Assange to court for breaching the conditions of his bail. His lawyer said the bail case should be dropped now that Sweden doesn’t want to charge Assange.



Newsline: Julian Assange pleads to leave Ecuadorian embassy because of ‘depression and bad tooth’

Julian Assange has pleaded for a warrant for his arrest to be cancelled so he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy as he is suffering from “depression and a terribly bad tooth”. The Wikileaks founder, who has been holed up for five and a half years, has argued that the only thing stopping him leaving the building and heading to the South American country is a threat he will be held by police for breaching his bail conditions. His lawyers argue that as proceedings in Sweden over rape allegations have now been dropped the British arrest warrant has lost its purpose.


Newsline: WikiLeaks may walk free from Ecuador embassy on February 6

A London court will rule on February 6 whether to drop an arrest warrant against Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, after his lawyers made a surprise request for the move in Westminster Magistrate’s Court. Assange, who has spent the past five years holed up in the Ecuador embassy, next door to Harrods in London’s posh Knightsbridge district, asked his lawyers to argue that the warrant, issued after he breached his bail conditions, be discontinued after Swedish authorities confirmed that their extradition warrant is no longer live. Assange, 46, breached his bail conditions and requested asylum in the embassy in 2012 in order to avoid extradition to Sweden over an allegation of rape, which he has consistently denied. Swedish prosecutors confirmed they had dropped the investigation against him last year but Assange could still be arrested if he leaves the building in Knightsbridge due to his skipping of the UK bail conditions. In the Westminster Magistrates Court his lawyers argued now that the Swedish case had been dropped the warrant had “lost its purpose and its function”.



Newsline: Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

Ecuador granted citizenship to Julian Assange and tried to register him as a diplomat in order to secure his release from the nation’s London embassy. The first part of Ecuador’s plan worked: Assange won his citizenship and donned the Ecuadorian national football team’s shirt to prove it. But when Ecuador asked the UK to register Assange as a diplomat, an act that would have made him immune to some laws, British authorities quickly saw through the ploy and denied the request. Assange applied for citizenship on September 16th, 2017, and was granted it on December 12th in the same year. Four days later, Ecuador applied to register him as a diplomat. A rebuff apparently came within hours. Ecuador and the UK have since traded statements. Ecuador’s said it wants an end to Assange’s epic couch-surfing effort. The UK’s said the way to do so is the have Assange hand himself in to face bail-jumping charges. Assange has repeatedly said he won’t do that, because he fears extradition to the USA. Jeff Sessions, the USA’s attorney-general, has made it abundantly clear that the book will be hurled, with extreme prejudice, directly at the leaker-in-chief.



Newsline: Ecuador grants citizenship to Julian Assange in bid to end London embassy standoff

Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the South American nation’s foreign minister announced Thursday, in a bid to resolve an “unsustainable” situation at its embassy in London, where Assange sought refuge more than five years ago. But a standoff with British authorities continued, as the Foreign Office rejected an Ecuadoran request that it grant diplomatic status to Assange, insisting instead that the Australian national “leave the embassy to face justice.” Ecuador’s foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, subsequently said that Assange would not leave the embassy in the absence of security guarantees. She said in a news conference Thursday in Quito, the Ecuadoran capital, that Assange was granted citizenship on Dec. 12, after having applied for it in September. Espinosa also said that Ecuador was concerned about potential threats to Assange’s life from unspecified other nations and was looking for a “dignified” exit from the stalemate in London.



Newsline: Assange risks to be kicked out of Ecuador embassy over Catalonia

The Wikileaks Founder’s support for Catalan separatists has antagonised the new president, Lenin Moreno, who had asked the Australian hacker to stay out of the independence debate. Responding to the president on Twitter, Assange accused President Moreno of attempting to silence him. He wrote: “If President Moreno wants to gag my reporting of human rights abuses in Spain he should say so explicitly — together with the legal basis.” The Australian hacker, who has been sheltered at the embassy for more than five years, is believed to be wanted by the United States for exposing state secrets.



Newsline: Blaze breaks out atop Embassy of Ecuador in NW Washington

A two-alarm fire sent flames leaping from the roof and attic of the Embassy of Ecuador early Wednesday morning in the Columbia Heights area of Northwest Washington. The blaze was on top of the embassy at 15th and Euclid Streets NW, across from the northeast corner of Meridian Hill Park. At about 1 a.m. on Wednesday, fire officials said efforts were still underway to extinguish pockets of flame inside the building. The embassy is in a four-story tan brick building that reflects the Beaux-Arts tradition, and is topped by a steeply pitched roof in the mansard style. The cause of the blaze was not known immediately. Firefighters said they were combating the blaze from the building’s interior. However, they also went outside at the top level, and were challenged officials said, by the pitch of the roof.