Julian Assange rejects UK-Ecuador deal for him to leave the embassy

Julian Assange rejects UK-Ecuador deal for him to leave the embassy

"The road is clear for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave", Moreno was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

Speaking during a radio interview on Thursday, Moreno said his administration has received written assurances that the United Kingdom will not extradite Assange to any nation where he will face the death penalty.

In November, WikiLeaks suggested that the USA authorities might have brought sealed charges against Assange, citing a filing in an unrelated case that used Assange's name in an "apparent cut-and-paste error".

President Moreno said the sentence for skipping bail would be "not long".

Moreno didn't say he would force Assange out, but said the Wikileaks founder's legal team is considering its next steps.

WikiLeaks' role in releasing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee in 2016 has also been under scrutiny as special counsel Robert Mueller has investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the campaign of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was involved.

Federal criminal charges against Assange have been filed secretly in the USA and were accidentally leaked in a court filing for an unrelated case several weeks ago.

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Sweden has since dropped that case, and Ecuador says there are no pending extradition requests against the WikiLeaks founder.

The Ecuadorian President added that he would prefer if Assange surrendered because of the cost Quito has been paying after granting asylum to him.

In recent months, Ecuador has clamped down on Assange and his behavior, cutting off his Internet access in March 2018 after making political statements that Ecuador said violated his agreement for sanctuary.

The Australian activist, who published huge caches of files belonging to the United States Department of State and the Pentagon in 2010, has repeatedly expressed fears that Britain may extradite him to the US.

Assange founded WikiLeaks as a whistle-blower organization in Iceland in 2006.

"We will protect Mr. Assange's rights - this is why we are looking for a solution, but this needs to be an agreed solution", he said.

Assange, 47, has spent the last six years in Ecuador's embassy to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault.

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