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Ecuador Set to Revoke Assange Asylum, Immediately Forcing Him from Embassy in London

Julian Assange

It is believed that Julian Assange will be expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy imminently – within hours to days – according to a well-placed source quoted by WikiLeaks.

According to a high-level source within the Ecuadorian government, was informed last night that Julian Assange will be expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London within “hours to days.” It is believed that Moreno government will try to use the INA Papers scandal as a spurious pretext for his eviction.

It appears likely now that Ecuador has already struck an agreement with UK authorities for Assange’s arrest once his political asylum is revoked and he is forced out of the embassy – his ‘home’ for nearly eight years in London’s Belgravia Square.

INA is a scandal that allegedly exposes Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno and his family’s financial dealings with INA Investments Corp. However, WikiLeaks has not published any documents related to this case.

“Ecuador”s President Lenin Moreno stated today that Assange has ‘violated the ‘conditions’ of his asylum’ and that he will ‘take a decision’ ‘in the short-term” after @WikiLeaks reported on the existence of the #INAPapers offshore corruption scandal wracking his government,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Tuesday.

The story was also disseminated by Associated Press this week who confirmed that President Moreno has in fact blamed WikiLeaks for recent corruption allegations appearing in local news outlets which included the publication of his family photos to social media. He also accused WikiLeaks of “intercepting phone calls” and private conversations, as well as “photos of my bedroom, what I eat, and how my wife and daughters and friends dance.” Despite the explosive allegations, Moreno has provided no evidence of WikiLeaks or Assange’s involvement in the scandal.

Explained: Why Julian Assange & Chelsea Manning hold key to Free Press

What is confirmed is heavy pressure being put to bear on the Moreno government by the United States government who want to extradite Assange once he has been removed from the Ecuadorian embassy and taken into UK custody. Many believe that Ecuador’s recent securing of a large IMF loan was part of a backroom deal to hand Assange over to US via UK authorities. It is not yet known what other ‘incentives’ the US has offered the Moreno government in exchange for their cooperation, but these will be surely exposed in the aftermath of this current furor.

The UK arrest will be on the basis of a violation of bail charge stemming from an old 2010 arrest warrant which itself was based on a bogus date rape case which was since dropped in Sweden.

Defend WikiLeaks reports….

On 28 March, Communications Minister Andrés Michelena told CNN Español that the INApapers were part of a plot of Julian Assange, Venezuelan President Maduro and former Ecuadorian President Correa to bring down Moreno’s government. He added, “You have to understand how these people are connected, Mr. Assange is the Troll Center, the hacker for former President Correa, [Assange] handles the technological and social media side.”

That same day, the national assembly, in which Moreno’s party and other right parties command a majority, passed a resolution inviting the Foreign Ministry to take action against Assange’s asylum on the basis of the INApapers leak “in the national interest” if it considers it pertinent to do so.

In March 2019, Moreno’s approval ratings dropped to 17%. Statements by the government of Ecuador deliberately implicate WikiLeaks in the INApapers leak. For example, Ecuador’s Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner said in a local radio interview, “What Wikileaks and other political actors have done, to publish private photos of the President of the Republic, of his family, is a despicable, repugnant, and odious act.”

The Foreign Minister said in a radio interview: “It is absolutely outrageous, reproachable, it shows Assange for what he is… of course we will act. We will not allow his website to interfere in the private channels of communication of the Ecuadorian head of state…. he is biting the hand that feeds him.”

Foreign Minister José Valencia has stated: “we are going to analyze whether Mr. Julian Assange’s aggressive publications against the Ecuadorian state merits a legal action by the Ecuadorian state.”

On 1 April, Ecuador submitted a request to the United Nations Rapporteur on Privacy to take urgent measures in response to the INApapers publication, listing WikiLeaks as the responsible party.

President Moreno, desperate to divert public attention away from the scandal, is using the claims as a pretext to oust Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. On 2 April, the President stated that Assange has “violated the ‘conditions’ of his asylum” and that he will “take a decision” “in the short term.” He said, “In WikiLeaks there is proof of espionage, of hacking, of the fact that phones have been intercepted and private conversations, there are even pictures of my bedroom.”

Assange’s lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, explained that Assange had nothing to do with the publication: “Remember that WikiLeaks has an internal organization and Mr. Assange is no longer in the editor. We will now resort to other types of situations, especially the Inter-American Commission”. (Listen to audio here.)

Nevertheless, Ecuador’s Vice President, Otto Sonnenholzner, has suggested that Assange would be prosecuted over what he described as a WikiLeaks “hack,” alluding to the rigid protocol that Ecuador has imposed on Assange to maintain a constant threat of expulsion.

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