Friday, 26 April, 2019


Ecuador accuses Assange of using embassy as a 'center for spying'

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno Credit PABLO COZZAGLIO
Bennie Garza | 15 April, 2019, 19:14

"We are faced with a humanitarian imperative now that Assange is in United Kingdom custody and a USA extradition request is out for him, after high ranking officials of the U.S. - including President Donald Trump - have threatened the publisher with death", said Miranda.

Assange spent nearly seven years in the embassy seeking political asylum, believing himself to be the target of multiple governments for his role in surfacing corruption and United States war crimes.

There's little concern either from Assange's fellow journalists that Ecuador was seemingly spying on him while inside the embassy.

"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver questioned CNN's coverage of the arrest of Julian Assange.

Mr Moreno, who became president in 2017, said his nation's previous government provided facilities within the embassy "to interfere in processes of other states".

"We can not allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a center for spying", he added.

Oliver then detailed Assange's alleged offenses within the embassy, including skateboarding in the hallways, damaging equipment and his cat making a mess.

Meanwhile, as journalists and commentators joke about his plight, Assange is languishing in the UK's notorious maximum Belmarsh Prison where he awaits a USA extradition hearing for the crime of committing real journalism.

He was arrested at the embassy on Thursday after Ecuador revoked his asylum, and is now also fighting a USA extradition warrant relating to the release by WikiLeaks of a huge cache of official documents.

In an interview with The Guardian, Moreno said Assange's actions "violate asylum conditions" and the country's decision to evict him was "not abitrary but based on global law".

Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, has denied the "outrageous" claims made by Ecuador about his behaviour at the embassy, including that he had to reminded to flush the toilet, didn't clean his dishes and left the cooker on.

Ecuador's Maria Paula Romo told reporters after Assange's arrest on Thursday that he had been "allowed to do things like put feces on the walls of the embassy and other behaviors of that nature".

In the Guardian interview, Moreno charged that Assange "mistreated our officials (and) started to make legal threats even against who was helping him". Assange is being held at Belmarsh Prison in London and is now expected to fight extradition to the USA over an allegation that he conspired with former army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to break into a classified government computer.

The US has also requested his extradition, charging him with conspiracy to hack government computers.

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