Published: Mon, April 08, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Ecuador 'to expel' Julian Assange from London embassy 'within hours or days'

Ecuador 'to expel' Julian Assange from London embassy 'within hours or days'

In the report, WikiLeaks claims the Ecuadorian embassy "already has an agreement with the United Kingdom for his arrest" as soon as he leaves.

Ecuador says reports it could soon expel WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its London embassy are "unfounded rumours", as a friend who had been visiting the Australian said things inside were extremely tense.

The founder of the secret-leaking website also has an arrest warrant with his name on it from the Met Police after he absconded in 2010 while on bail.

Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations, which he has denied.

In 2011, US authorities opened a grand jury hearing to decide whether to prosecute Assange and WikiLeaks for the release of hundreds of thousands of government secrets, The Guardian reported.

WikiLeaks has told AP: "If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher's asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind".

Assange has not stepped out once from the embassy, for fear of arrest by British police.

An Ecuador official said President Lenin Moreno was angered by the apparent hacking of his personal communications.

Earlier this week, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Mr Assange had "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum in the Andean nation's embassy, his home for almost seven years.

Emmy Butlin of the Julian Assange Defence Committee said, "I am very grateful to WSWS readers for their continuous support and I appeal to you to please get behind this worldwide movement in freeing Julian Assange and supporting him in this awful time when he is facing possible expulsion".

Ecuador's government did not respond to calls made after office hours, but the Associated Press reported that no decision has yet been made, citing an unidentified government official.

Sweden dropped the case in 2017 but Mr Assange remains in the embassy following accusations of espionage. The papers allege that Moreno's brother, Edwin, created a ghost company, INA Investment Corp.

Christine Assange, Assange's mother, wrote on Twitter on Friday, "The US is making its move to grab my son Julian!" Two supporters wearing so-called Anonymous masks also briefly held up a placard with the text "Free Julan Assange" at the entrance to the building where the embassy is located.

A small group of protesters and supporters of Wikileaks' founder gathered Thursday outside the embassy in London where Assange has been holed up since August 2012.

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