Ecuador says United Kingdom has given enough guarantees for Assange to leave embassy

Blanche Robertson
December 7, 2018

The investigation was later dropped, but Great Britain says he will be arrested if leaves the embassy. However, should he choose to leave, a "path" has been made available to him with conditions having been met, the leader said.

Ecuador removed its ambassador to the United Kingdom two weeks ago, sparking renewed speculation over Assange's future at the embassy in London.

Mr Moreno said: "I do not like the presence of Mr. Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy, but we have been respectful of his human rights and with that respect in mind we think that six years is too long for someone to remain almost incarcerated in an embassy".

"The way has been cleared for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave in near-liberty", President Lenin Moreno told reporters, explaining that he still had to answer in Britain for violating the terms of his bail.

That has always been a concern for Assange and those advocating for him, as he could potentially face the death penalty if extradited to the U.S. for his leak of a huge trove of diplomatic cables in 2010.

"I do not like the presence of Mr Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy, but we have been respectful of his human rights and with that respect in mind we think that six years is too long for someone to remain almost incarcerated in an embassy", Moreno said.

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And while Mr Assange remains protected in the Ecuadorian embassy, there have been indications that officials in that country are losing patience with him.

Last year Jeff Sessions, the former United States attorney general, said arresting Mr Assange was a priority.

Moreno said he would prefer Assange hand himself over because of the cost Ecuador is paying after granting him asylum as well as for his own good.

In March, he accused the embassy of violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms" by restricting his internet access.

"We will protect Mr. Assange's rights - this is why we are looking for a solution, but this needs to be an agreed solution", he said. WikiLeaks posted thousands of emails stolen from Democrats by Russian agents during the election.

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