Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Assange diplomatic status request rejected

Assange diplomatic status request rejected

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has been given an Ecuadorean passport and identity documents, fuelling speculation that he could soon be moved from the embassy in London.

Foreign affairs minister María Fernanda Espinosa confirmed the government of Ecuador granted "naturalisation" to Mr Assange last December after he made a request in September.

Assange has always denied the sexual assault allegations against him, claiming the sex was consensual and that the case was politically motivated to get him extradited to the United States over massive Wikileaks dumps of secret U.S. military reports that year.

An Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK".

The following year, Ecuador demands that Britain allows Assange to fly to Quito.

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry in a statement said it was seeking to resolve Assange's situation, without making reference to the citizenship issue.

"Ecuador is now exploring other solutions in dialogue with the United Kingdom, like good offices of renowned authorities, other states, or global organizations that could facilitate a just, final and dignified solution for all parties", Espinosa told a press conference in Quito. Assange fears Sweden will hand him over to USA authorities who could prosecute him for publishing the documents and possibly sentence him to death.

Ecuador subsequently asked the United Kingdom to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent - a move that could have given him immunity. The Ecuadorean government has since insisted that "nothing has happened".

October 12, 2015: Metropolitan Police end the 24-hour guard at the Embassy.

In July 2014 a Swedish court upholds the European arrest warrant against Assange and in November Assange loses an appeal against the arrest warrant.

The UK has also refused to guarantee that Mr Assange will not be extradited to the USA where he could face charges for his role in releasing classified military documents.

April 21, 2017: US Attorney General states that Assange's arrest is now a US "priority". Moreno issued a public demand that Assange not interfere in the politics of "nations that are our friends".

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