Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange Granted Citizenship by Ecuador

12 January, 2018, 03:20 | Author: Phil Peters
  • After living five years behind the safety of Ecuador’s London embassy Wiki Leaks founder Julian Assange may be in for a change of scene

Ecuador had applied for Assange to receive diplomatic status, that would presumably let him leave the embassy without a pair of handcuffs, but the Foreign Office has rejected that request. Prosecutors there dropped the case previous year, but Assange remained in the embassy after British police said he would still be arrested for violating bail conditions.

He had been wanted on assault claims in Sweden, which have been dropped, but now fears extradition to the US.

However, an FCO spokesman said on Wednesday: "The Government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK".

Julian Assange, editor and founder of Wikileaks, has been holed up in London's Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012, following a rape allegation in Sweden.

Speaking at a news conference in Quito, Espinosa said Assange was granted naturalization on December 12.

The 46-year-old Australian still fears being sent to the U.S. to face charges over WikiLeaks' release of secret United States government documents.

Assange also offended potential supporters in the Democratic Party by allowing WikiLeaks to become the conduit for emails hacked by Russian Federation from the Democratic National Committee that were meant to harm the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

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The Ecuadorean foreign minister stated Assange would not leave the embassy without security guarantees.

A statement by Mr Assange's legal team said: 'The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language. Ecuador's Foreign Ministry has not yet responded to questions about Assange's passport.

The Wikileaks founder posted a picture of himself wearing an Ecuador football shirt an hour ago, adding to the speculation he had been granted citizenship. "No solution can be reached without worldwide cooperation and without cooperation from the United Kingdom, which in addition has shown interest in finding a solution".

A statement by Mr Assange's legal team said: 'The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language.

Referencing a 2016 UN ruling that said Assange was being "arbitrarily detained", WikiLeaks responded: "The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language". According to London's Metropolitan Police, he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy building.

However, senior government office holders have been highly critical of Mr Assange in the past and he continues to fear prosecution.

Ecuador said the United Kingdom should guarantee him "safe passage" to Ecuador if he leaves the embassy.

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