Ecuador president claims Assange used embassy as ‘centre for spying’
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of using the country’s London embassy as a “centre for spying” while he was given refuge there for seven years.
Moreno said Ecuador terminated Assange’s asylum because he repeatedly violated international conventions, and WikiLeaks had threatened Quito.
“It is unfortunate that, from our territory and with the permission of authorities of the previous government, facilities have been provided within the Ecuadorian embassy in London to interfere in processes of other states,” he said in an email interview with Monday’s Guardian newspaper.
“We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a centre for spying,” Moreno added. “This activity violates asylum conditions.”
Embassy officials allowed police to enter the building on Thursday to arrest Assange for breach of British bail conditions linked to a Swedish extradition request.
Police later said the 47-year-old Australian citizen was “further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.”
The US Justice Department said it has charged Assange for conspiring with former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.
Two lawmakers of the German party Die Linke and a Spanish MEP plan to visit Assange in London’s Belmarsh prison on Monday, the leftist party said.
On Sunday, former members of a Spanish security team described some of Assange’s eccentric behaviour to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, which also published security footage of Assange in the embassy.
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