WikiLeaks co-founder arrested: Ecuador's president accuses Assange of espionage

Lenin Moreno says Julian Assange wanted to establish a "center for espionage" in the London embassy in Ecuador. That there is a deal with the US to WikiLeaks co-founder, rejects the head of state of Ecuador.

Ecuadorian President LenĂ­n Moreno has again defended the withdrawal of political asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Moreno told the newspaper "The Guardian" that Assange had tried to set up a "center for espionage" in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Apparently Moreno played on the role of WikiLeaks in the US presidential campaign 2016. The platform then published thousands of emails from the camp of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

US authorities believe the emails were downloaded by Russian intelligence hackers and leaked to WikiLeaks. FBI special investigator Robert Mueller has also documented this aspect in his final report on presumed Russian interference in the presidential election won by Donald Trump.

"Respect the policies of all other states"

Moreno said the previous government in Quito had allowed the embassy to intervene in the "trials of other states". "Any attempt to destabilize is a reprehensible act for Ecuador because we are a sovereign nation and respect the policies of all other states," it says.

Video: Analysis on the arrest of Julian Assange



Assange also treated embassy staff badly, Moreno said. The lawyer of the Australian, Jennifer Robinson, rejected this. Sky told broadcaster Ecuador that it had made "some rather outrageous allegations" to allow British police to come to the embassy and arrest their client.

The withdrawal of asylum was not arbitrary, but based on international law, Lenin Moreno said. He wants to have received written confirmation from Britain that Assange will not be extradited if he faces the death penalty.

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Julian Assange: The WikiLeaks founder in pictures

The allegation by his predecessor Rafael Correa that the withdrawal of the asylum was part of a deal with the US on debt relief for Ecuador, Moreno pointed out: "At no time was the status of Assange part of negotiations with the United States".

Assange was arrested on Thursday after seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The government in Quito had previously suspended political asylum for the 47-year-old Australian, who is considered a public enemy by many because of the publication of secret US documents. Assange's lawyers now want to prevent extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the US.

ref: spiegel