Ecuador says that the United Kingdom has given "guarantees" that Assange will leave the embassy – The Guardian


Ecuador has received written assurances from the British government that it would not have extradited Julian Assange to any country where it would have faced the death penalty, said the country's president, Lenín Moreno.

In a live radio interview Thursday, Moreno said that the founder of WikiLeaks now has sufficient guarantees to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom, where he has lived in asylum since mid-2012.

Moreno told reporters that he was talking to the UK government, so "he would guarantee his life and ensure that he would not be extradited to any country where his life would be in danger". He added that the United Kingdom would require Assange to complete a brief prison term for violating the terms of the bail.

The announcement comes as it speculates that the six-year stay of the Australian activist in the London embassy could end. The appointment of a new ambassador Jaime Marchán to the London embassy this week is a signal that the government wants to solve the problem, according to Quito analysts.

The pressure has increased on the founder of WikiLeaks since Ecuador cut its internet connection in March and the Guardian reported that the country has spent millions on its long stay.

"I do not like the presence of Mr Julian Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador," Moreno said today, without saying that the activist would be forced to leave the city. He added that the Australian spent "too much time almost in prison" in the country's embassy.

Opinion polls show that most Ecuadorians want Assange to leave the embassy, ​​and Moreno is under pressure at home and from the United States to end his guest's unwanted stay.

"Ecuadorians have a long tradition of respect for human rights," a deputy from the opposition party, Creo, told Guardian Fabricio Villamar.

"But that tradition can not be interpreted as a weakness or a loophole for people pursued by ordinary justice," he added.

In October, Ecuador imposed stringent rules for Assange to which he responded with an action against the embassy for "violation of his rights and fundamental freedoms". An Ecuadorian judge rejected the legal move.

The Assange legal team said it is considering how to respond, according to the Associated Press.

The US authorities have never officially confirmed that they accused Assange, but last month an error in a document presented in an unrelated case made it clear that the criminal charges could have been prepared in secret.

The court filing, apparently presented by mistake by US prosecutors, mentioned criminal charges against someone named "Assange", even if that was not the name of the defendant.

Legal analysts have stated that the mistake may have been caused by prosecutors who copy and paste from sealed documents that outline allegations against the founder of Wikileaks.

The Foreign Office did not deny an earlier newsletter last month, suggesting that the Ministry of the Interior had given written assurances to the Ecuadorian government that UK ministers would not allow Assange's extradition to a country in which it would have to face death penalty.

It is unclear whether this insurance translates into a commitment that the United Kingdom will not allow Assange's extradition to the United States at all – or if it would allow extradition on condition that it would not be condemned to death.

It is understood that the United Kingdom has also ensured that Assange will not have to face more than six months in prison for offenses related to probation.

At the start of this year, Foreign Minister Alan Duncan tried to reassure Assange about his treatment if he chose to leave the embassy, ​​saying to the parliamentarians: "We are increasingly worried about his health.

"We want this to be accomplished and we would like to make sure that if it were to leave the embassy, ​​it would be treated with humanity and adequately.The first priority would be to take care of its health, which we think is deteriorating."



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