Ecuador says Britain has guaranteed not to extradite Julian Assange

Julian Assange on the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London

"The road is clear for Mr. Assange to take the decision to leave", Moreno said in a live radio interview.

That has always been a concern for Assange and those advocating for him, as he could potentially face the death penalty if extradited to the USA for his leak of a huge trove of diplomatic cables in 2010.

Assange faces a British arrest warrant over violating bail conditions by seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012, but Sweden, which originally sought to question him on sexual abuse allegations, has said it is no longer seeking to extradite him.

Julian Assange can walk out of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London any time he wants and face little prospect of jail time or extradition to face charges that carry a death penalty, the president of Ecuador told a radio station in Quito on December 6.

Ecuador on Thursday reached a deal with the United Kingdom that would allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for the first time in six years, but Assange rejected the pact because it did not protect him from being extradited to the United States, his lawyer told The Telegraph.

A woman walks past the Ecuadorean Embassywhere Julian Assange has been living under asylum since 2012
Camera IconA woman walks past the Ecuadorean Embassywhere Julian Assange has been living under asylum since

Assange, who gained worldwide renown by publishing huge caches of hacked State Department and Pentagon files, has repeatedly expressed fear that Britain would extradite him to the United States to face charges there.

Federal criminal charges against Assange have been filed secretly in the United States and were accidentally leaked in a court filing for an unrelated case several weeks ago. The Justice Department prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him. This comes as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the alleged links between US President Donald Trump's associates and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"If the British government guarantees his life, I think it's in his best interest to hand himself over to the authorities", CNN quoted Moreno as saying. Transmitting defense information to be used for injuring the United States can be punishable by death.

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong ..."



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