Ecuador president says Assange used London embassy for 'spying'

Geraldine Edwards
April 16, 2019

Assange made the decision to move into the embassy in London after losing his battle against his extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations including rape.

The Ecuadoran president has defended his decision to withdraw Julian Assange's asylum status, saying that the WikiLeaks founder had tried to set up a "spying centre" from the diplomatic mission in London.

Belmarsh has frequently been used in high-profile national security cases, including that of former Finsbury Park Mosque hate preacher Abu Hamza, who now resides in a USA "supermax" prison following extradition.

"Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on global law", he said.

Moreno and other Ecuadorian officials accused Assange of interfering in the affairs of other states while at the embassy, abusing staffers and not taking care of his room and belongings.

Pressed over the veracity of the allegations, Ms Robinson said: "That's not true".

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On Thursday, the country revoked that asylum, leading to Assange's arrest by British police on a USA hacking charge.

The Wikileaks founder faces up to twelve months in prison after being found guilty of breaching his bail conditions. She added that the government did not want the country "to turn into an global cyber piracy centre". Julian has never been concerned about facing British justice or indeed Swedish justice.

He faces up to five years in jail.

Meanwhile, freaky footage of Assange skateboarding inside the Ecuadorean embassy has been obtained by the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

The Latin American country has claimed Assange's actions deteriorated before his arrest last week and included putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the bathroom, and not properly looking after his cat.

West met with Assange in prison on Friday.

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Manning passed hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, exposing U.S. military wrongdoing in the Iraq war and diplomatic secrets about scores of countries around the world. He also has not formally responded to the United States conspiracy charge.

But Robinson insisted: "This indictment clearly engages newsgathering activities and the kinds of communications that journalists have with sources all the time".

In the Guardian interview, Moreno charged that Assange "mistreated our officials (and) started to make legal threats even against who was helping him".

The comments show the degradation of Julian Assange's relationship with Ecuador, which allowed him to stay in the London embassy for almost seven years.

Assange's father, John Shipton, on Sunday urged Australia to bring his son home.

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