Ecuador Seeking End To Julian Assange Embassy Stay

Violet Powell
January 12, 2018

The Associated Press reports that Ecuador has granted citizenship to Julian Assange.

In a press conference held today Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa reaffirmed that Julian Assange was granted Ecuadorean citizenship December 21, 2017.

Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been sheltering at its London embassy for five years to avoid arrest, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa announced Thursday.

An Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK".

Assange tweeted a picture of himself wearing an Ecuador national football short on Wednesday.

Fernanda Espinosa, said: "No solution will be achieved without worldwide cooperation and the cooperation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out". But the United Kingdom has warned it will arrest the WikiLeaks founder if he steps outside Ecuador's embassy.

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

Records showed that the documents had been delivered to Mr Assange on December 21, the newspaper said.

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Nonetheless, the statute of limitations on the allegations made against Assange in Sweden does not expire until 2020, and prosecutors have made it plain that they are prepared to renew their vendetta at the drop of a hat, or, more precisely, a call from Washington.

The Ecuadorian government has become entirely fed up with the dispute over Assange's status as it's dragged on, calling the dispute "untenable".

Mr Assange faces arrest for breaking his bail conditions if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy, where he has resided since 2012, claiming asylum. The WikiLeaks chief believes that the United States government is seeking his extradition and prosecution.

Ecuador said the United Kingdom should guarantee him "safe passage" to Ecuador if he leaves the embassy.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said last April that Assange's arrest remains "a priority", adding, "Whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail".

Assange, who denies the allegations, feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in USA history.

August 16, 2012: Ecuador grants Assange political asylum.

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