Ecuador President: Assange Used Embassy For Spying

John Shipton

READ ONAssange's father calls on Australia to bring him home

Assange had entered the embassy on June 19, 2012 after losing his battle against extradition to Sweden where he faced numerous allegations, including rape.

Although Swedish authorities abandoned their case against Assange in 2017, supporters of WikiLeaks have long feared his possible extradition could ultimately involve his relocation to the United States, where he remains wanted over his role in the leaking of classified military and diplomatic cables from 2010 onward.

Assange was seized by plain clothes police officers on April 11 during dramatic scenes that saw him expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

His refuge was granted after he claimed that if he was sent to Sweden, he could be arrested by United States police and face charges related to a series of leaks published by WikiLeaks and provided by Chelsea Manning, a former United States Army soldier and whistleblower.

Leaked security footage shows WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange try to skateboard in a room in London's Ecuadorian embassy, where he lived for nearly seven years.

"We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying", Moreno said, in an apparent reference to the leaked pictures.

Lenin Moreno also said no other nation had influenced the decision to revoke the WikiLeaks founder's asylum, which he said followed 'violations infringed by Assange'.

Moreno, who was less sympathetic to Assange's cause than his left-wing predecessor Rafael Correa, had requested that he limit his online political presence, stop riding his skateboard in the embassy hall's and clean up after his cat.

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But when you're Julian Assange, holed up inside an embassy for seven years, you're options are pretty limited.

Over the weekend Ecuadorian president Lenín Moreno accused Assange of using the embassy to interfere with the internal affairs of other states - including the Vatican.

In an interview with The Guardian, Moreno said Assange's actions "violate asylum conditions" and the country's decision to evict him was "not abitrary but based on worldwide law".

On Sunday, however, a lawyer representing Assange alleged that Ecuador's government was spreading lies about his behavior.

The president also made references to Assange's apparently poor hygiene following allegations made by Ecuador's interior minister, Maria Paula Romo.

"Ecuador has made these allegations to justify the unlawful and extraordinary act of letting police come inside an embassy", Robinson told the UK's Sky News.

Ecuador's Moreno ended Assange's protected status after more than 6½ years and opened the way for his arrest.

The US has also requested his extradition, charging him with conspiracy to hack government computers.

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