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Archive for Ecuador

Newsline: UK police say ‘obliged’ to arrest Assange if he leaves Ecuador’s embassy

British police said Friday that they would have to arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for breaching his bail if he leaves Ecuador’s embassy after a Swedish rape investigation against him was dropped. The police said a warrant was issued against Assange in 2012 after he failed to hand himself in for extradition to Sweden, adding: “The Metropolitan Police Service is obliged to execute that warrant should he leave the embassy”. The Crown Prosecution Service said that breach of bail is punishable by up to a year in prison or a fine. The police statement said Assange was previously wanted for “an extremely serious offence” in Sweden and the police presence around the embassy had “reflected the serious nature of that crime”. “Now that the situation has changed and the Swedish authorities have discontinued their investigation into that matter. Mr Assange remains wanted for a much less serious offence,” it said. “The MPS will provide a level of resourcing which is proportionate to that offence,” it added. The police ended their round-the-clock guard outside the embassy in October 2015 but said they were strengthening a “covert plan” to prevent his departure. Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador and has been able to evade justice because he is on Ecuador’s sovereign territory by being in the embassy. The policing outside the embassy has cost millions of pounds, the source of much criticism in Britain.


Newsline: WikiLeaks Julian Assange ‘Sentenced’ To Life In Ecuadorian embassy

The United Nations has ruled that Assange is being “illegally detained” by British and Swedish authorities. But the Trump administration took action against Assange this week, that go far beyond anything done by the Obama administration. As reported by Australian news outlet SBS, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made the arrest of Assange “a top priority.” In response to a question about Assange, Sessions said that every effort will be made to ensure that Assange ends up in jail. Jeff Sessions comments come in the wake of WikiLeaks publication of material from a leak of CIA intelligence files. Given the damage that the WikiLeaks revelations can do to the reputation of the U.S. establishment and to the CIA, it is no surprise to see that CIA director Mike Pompeo has lashed out at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. According to CBS News, Pompeo has called WikiLeaks a “hostile intelligence service.” Jeff Sessions and Mike Pompeo, have made it clear that Assange is one of their top priorities. They have also made it clear that it will not be safe for Assange to leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy. Given that the UN have already declared that Assange is illegally detained, it could be argued that Sessions and the CIA have imposed a sentence of life imprisonment within the Ecuadorian Embassy.


Newsline: Assange Set to Stay in Ecuador Embassy as Leftist on Verge of Winning Election

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange dodged an eviction order in Ecuador’s Sunday election, after the right-wing candidate who had vowed to kick him out of the country’s London embassy was set to narrowly lose a presidential election. Assange has been holed up in the tiny embassy for nearly five years, protected by Ecuador’s current leftist government from extradition to Sweden over rape allegations. Conservative presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso had vowed to roll back that welcome mat and remove Assange within 30 days of winning office, making global headlines and spooking Assange’s supporters. Government candidate Lenin Moreno, meanwhile, has promised to keep hosting Assange in the Andean country’s embassy – although he warned he may take a tougher stance. Moreno said in an interview with leftist broadcaster TeleSUR in February that he would ask Assange “not to intervene in the politics of countries that are friends of Ecuador.”


Newsline: Assange hints that he’s ready to quit Ecuador embassy

Julian Assange has indicated that he is ready to face extradition after Barack Obama’s decision to free Chelsea Manning, the former soldier jailed for handing over classified documents to WikiLeaks. The outgoing US president used his final hours in the White House to take almost 30 years off Manning’s sentence. The former intelligence analyst, who as Bradley Manning went to school in Wales, said that she had passed on government and military documents to raise awareness about the impact of war. Mr Assange, who has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012 for fear of being extradited to the US, said: “Thank you to everyone who campaigned for Manning’s clemency.”


Newsline: Israel summons Ecuadorean envoy

Modi Efraim, Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s deputy director- general for Latin America, summoned on Sunday the chargé d’affaires at the Ecuadorean Embassy to protest comments Ecuador’s ambassador to the UN made in the General Assembly last week equating Zionism with Nazism. “We repudiate with all our strength the persecution and genocide that, in its time, unleashed Nazism against the Hebrew people,” Horacio Sevilla Borja said on the occasion of International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. “But I cannot remember anything more similar in our contemporary history than the eviction, persecution and genocide that today imperialism and Zionism do against the Palestinian people.”


Newsline: Ecuador prosecutor sees no quick embassy exit for Assange

Ecuador’s prosecutor said it does not see a quick way out for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the country’s embassy in Britain for four years. Swedish prosecutors earlier this month questioned Assange at the London embassy in an investigation into allegations that he committed rape in Sweden in 2010. Ecuador must deliver a written version of the testimony to Swedish prosecutors and will do so in December, said Ecuador’s prosecutor, Galo Chiriboga. Assange, who is Australian, fears deportation to Sweden and the United States, where he could be charged for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. “Four years have passed and we are only at this stage, but that is no longer attributable to Ecuador, it is attributable to Swedish prosecutors. I do not think there is a quick way out,” Chiriboga told reporters. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Guillaume Long said this month that Assange should receive guarantees that he will not be extradited if he faces justice in Sweden.


Newsline: Assange’s Embassy Questioning is First Step to Freedom

Prosecutors questioned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London Monday in a move that could end a long diplomatic deadlock that has kept the whistleblower holed up in the embassy for four years. Swedish chief prosecutor Ingrid Isgren reportedly spent four hours in the embassy after arriving Monday, where she presented questions through Ecuadorean prosecutor Wilson Toainga. The interview over allegations that Assange committed rape in 2010 was announced last week by the Swedish prosecution office and could end the impasse that has pushed the WikiLeaks founder to seek refuge in the embassy since 2012. Isgren left the embassy without offering comments about the questioning. Last week Assange welcomed the news through his lawyer, saying he was looking forward to the “chance to clear his name.” WikiLeaks has said that Sweden’s procrastination in the face of Assange and Ecuador’s long-standing openness to conduct the interview in the London embassy has denied Assange the right to clear his name. In February, a U.N. panel said his stay at the Ecuadorian embassy equaled arbitrary detention, that he should be allowed to leave and be awarded compensation. Making sure Assange did not escape from the Ecuadorian embassy has been an operation that has cost the U.K. police over US$18 million.