Lenin Moreno invites Assange to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London - EL PAÍS

Lenin Moreno has moved from expressing his unease openly to the presence of Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to invite him to leave. His period of asylum in the diplomatic headquarters, which now stands at six years, is about to run out if the founder of Wikileaks listens to the president of Ecuador and decides to leave the diplomatic leg with his own hands. "The way here is for Mr. Assange to make the decision to go almost to freedom," Moreno said yesterday in an interview with several local broadcasters, stating that the United Kingdom has guaranteed that the Australian will not be extradited to no country if his life is in danger.

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, when he was accused of alleged sexual abuse in Sweden. That case was dismissed, but the founder of Wikileaks fears that if he leaves the diplomatic legation he could be arrested by the British authorities, who require him for violating the precautionary measures, and then extradited to the United States to respond to the disclosure of state secrets. of Wikileaks.

Therefore, the president of Ecuador reaffirmed that, in a conversation with the UK government, it was assured that this scenario will not occur. "They sent us an official communication from the British government stating that the Constitution of Great Britain prevents a person from being extradited to a place where his life is in danger," Moreno insisted.

Even so, the Australian will have to answer for violation of probation. "Let's not forget that he has not presented himself to the British courts and he has to pay a long penalty for that, which will be decided by British justice," said Moreno.

The Ecuadorian president took advantage of the joint interview with several national radio stations to clarify, for the second time, another issue related to Assange and its problems with the United States. It is Paul Manafort. At the time Donald Trump's campaign director met with Moreno in May 2017, immediately after the Ecuadorian presidential election he won. According to the official version, Manafort has accompanied a group of Chinese investors interested in participating in the strategic sectors of Ecuador. Since the Ecuadorian constitution prevents foreign capital in such enterprises, the meeting ended without agreement. Moreno wanted to explain now that Assange has never been discussed, which is what the United States is investigating, as revealed by CNN a few days ago, after The Guardian it was reported that Assange and Manafort had also met.

Protocola de convivencia

If the Australian eventually leaves the embassy the friction months he has endured since Ecuador has renewed its president will end. When he ruled Rafael Correa, the cohabitation with the founder of Wikileaks in the diplomatic office remained without discrepancies, but the arrival of Lenin Moreno in power changed the landscape. At the end of 2017, the Ecuadorian president asked Assange to sign a document that committed himself not to make statements on domestic political issues in other countries. Faced with his rupture, during the secessionist crisis in Catalonia, Moreno decided to hold the of hackers and deny him access to the Internet.

In mid-October of this year, the Ecuadorian government imposed a protocol of cohabitation that forced him to pay his living expenses, to undergo quarterly medical examinations and that his visits had been previously authorized, in exchange for restoring connection to the network Assange protested against the new regime because, he said, he violated his human rights and because, indirectly, he forced his exit from the embassy. If you did not meet the conditions, Ecuador could withdraw asylum.

It was not the first time that the Latin American country thought of alternatives to solve the problem of Assange. At the end of 2017, he granted Australian citizenship, even if he did not meet all the requirements of national legislation, so that he could access diplomatic security and thus move to the embassy in Russia. United Kingdom did not accept.

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