Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Julian Assange can stay on in embassy – Moreno

Julian Assange can stay on in embassy – Moreno

Ecuador’s new President Lenin Moreno has criticised Julian Assange as a “hacker”, but stressed his government will allow the WikiLeaks founder to remain at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Moreno, who took office this month, has broken with his predecessor Rafael Correa, who had said Ecuador had “done its duty” by granting the Australian asylum in 2012.

“Mr. Assange is a hacker,” Moreno told journalists on Monday. “That’s something we reject, and I personally reject.
“But I respect the situation he is in, which calls for respect of his human rights, but we also ask that he respects the situation he is in.”
Earlier this month, Swedish prosecutors dropped a seven-year rape allegation against Assange and withdrew the European arrest warrant that had prompted his flight to the embassy and an appeal for asylum.
Assange, who denied the accusations, feared Sweden would hand him over to the US to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.
Moreno said Assange could continue living in the Ecuadorian embassy because “it seems the British government is not going to grant safe passage”.
Despite Sweden dropping the rape charges, British police have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the London embassy, because he had broken his conditions for bail by taking refuge in the diplomatic mission.
Assange dodged an eviction order in Ecuador’s April election, after the right-wing candidate who had vowed to kick him out of the embassy lost to Moreno.
But Moreno has taken a tougher stance on Assange, warning him “not to intervene in the politics” of countries friendly to Ecuador.
Assange wrote on his Twitter account last week that he would publish evidence of corruption in Ecuador if he received it.
He has been under the protection of the Ecuadorian Embassy for almost five years.

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