Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Ecuador: U.K. guarantees for Assange to leave embassy

Ecuador: U.K. guarantees for Assange to leave embassy

Mr Assange has long maintained the he faces charges under seal in the United States for revealing highly sensitive government information on his website.

In a media interview, Moreno said he had received written assurances from Britain that Assange could leave the building safely.

Julian Assange can walk out of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London any time he wants and face little prospect of jail time or extradition to face charges that carry a death penalty, the president of Ecuador told a radio station in Quito on December 6.

WikiLeaks has published thousands of classified USA government documents, prompting United States law-enforcement authorities to consider possible criminal charges for Assange, despite the fact that publishing leaked government documents is not a crime.

Assange, 47, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 while wanted for questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden.He has maintained his innocence and said the charges were nothing more than an attempt to extradite him to the United States.

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"We do not see the British changing their point of view, they continue to insist that he appear before the courts", said Valencia.

WikiLeaks has been a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of any links between associates of President Donald Trump and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April 2017 that arresting Assange was a "priority". The investigation in Sweden was later dropped, and Ecuador said there were no pending extradition requests against Assange.

Mr Assange has denied any connection to Russian Federation. He faces charges of espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property, and computer fraud in the U.S., and Donald Trump's administration has stated that the Wikileaks founder's arrest is a top priority.

Assange has remained in Ecuador's embassy in London for fear that he will be extradited to countries where he is wanted or that he will be arrested in the United Kingdom for the criminal offence of breaching his bail conditions.

The Ecuadorian President added that he would prefer if Assange surrendered because of the cost Quito has been paying after granting asylum to him.

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