Julian Assange's five years at the Ecuadorian Embassy

Michele Moreno
January 12, 2018

On Tuesday, foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Ecuador was exploring mediation to solve the standoff.

Ecuador is hoping it can break a long impasse that has seen WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holed up in its London embassy for five years.

Mr Assange, 46, breached his bail conditions when he sought political refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy, while facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

He fears that if arrested by UK authorities they he will be extradited to the United States whose government is looking to prosecute Assange for publishing thousands of USA classified military and diplomatic documents via his Wikileaks page.

The UK's rejection of a diplomatic pass comes after Assange tweeted a cryptic picture of him dressed in the colours of Ecuador.

She did not give details on how granting Assange citizenship might help in avoiding his arrest by British police.

"What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection", Espinosa said.

'The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.

He was also a point of contention in Ecuador's 2017 presidential election.

The Foreign Office said Mr Assange must leave the embassy and "face justice".

The intentions of the Ecuadoran government, moreover, are far from clear.

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into allegations against Mr Assange, but he fears he will be extradited to the U.S. if he leaves the building and that there is a sealed indictment ordering his arrest.

The passport could obtain his first step to obtaining diplomatic immunity, as Ecuador wants to resolve Assange's indefinite embassy stay. Assange fears Sweden will hand him over to USA authorities who could prosecute him for publishing the documents and possibly sentence him to death.

Assange has expressed fears that he could be extradited to the United States on charges related to WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files and diplomatic cables. That's not the case for Julian Assange. Ecuador has repeatedly urged Assange not to interfere in the affairs of other countries following his frequent online comments on global issues.

Other reports by Insurance News

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