Ecuador showing Assange the door as United States charges loom

Clay Curtis
December 8, 2018

Mr Assange fears being charged by the United States for his part in leaking sensitive government information.

Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno said in a radio interview Thursday that the government of the United Kingdom has satisfied concerns that would otherwise prevent Ecuador from releasing him, the Associated Press reported.

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.

A Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site posted thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong", said Mr Pollack.

Ecuador's president says Britain has provided sufficient guarantees for Julian Assange to leave his government's embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living under asylum since 2012.

He did not say he would force Mr Assange out, but said Mr Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

White House chief of staff Kelly to resign in days, reports CNN
Kelly is the latest high-ranking White House official known to have given information for Mueller's probe. He has many detractors within the White House, where some people consider him brash and presumptuous.

Last year Jeff Sessions, the former U.S. attorney general, said arresting Mr Assange was a priority.

United States prosecutors last month inadvertently revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against Assange, according to WikiLeaks, but it was not known what the actual charges were.

There is speculation that the U.S. interest in Assange is connected to the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought President Donald Trump to office. The investigation in Sweden was later dropped, and Ecuador said there were no pending extradition requests against Assange.

Mr Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006.

Assange entered the embassy after two years of battling an extradition to Sweden to be questioned by prosecutors, who were considering whether charges should be brought against Assange for sexual assault.

"We will protect Mr. Assange's rights - this is why we are looking for a solution, but this needs to be an agreed solution", he said.

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