Ecuador tried giving Assange diplomatic post in Russian Federation

22 Septembre, 2018, 10:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Julian Assange

The Guardian claimed yesterday that Russian officials were involved in a "basic" plan to extract the Wikileaks founder, who fears further extradition to the USA for sedition and espionage, from the embassy on Christmas Eve previous year. Officials accused the WikiLeaks founder, who has resided in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, of "put at risk the good relations [Ecuador] maintains with the United Kingdom, with the other states of the European Union, and with other nations". However, under English law, the 47 year-old can only enjoy diplomatic privileges, such as immunity, only if his credentials are accepted by the Foreign Office.

The plan to make Assange an Ecuadorean diplomat was made public past year, but the effort to send him to Moscow has not been previously reported.

The plan was ultimately abandoned as it was too risky. The paper, claimed that Ecuador's former London consul, Fidel Narvaez, was in talks with Russian diplomats and in constant contact with a "Russian businessman" who coordinated the proposed operation with the Kremlin.

The Russian embassy in London called the article a clear example of "disinformation and fake news by British media", while the Foreign Ministry also rejected the report. The Ecuadorean foreign ministry could not be reached for comment.

One ultimate destination, multiple sources have said, was Russian Federation, where Assange would not be at risk of extradition to the US.

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The Ecuadorian President has said Mr Assange can not remain in asylum for life. "Russia is always happy to welcome global guests if they arrive in a lawful manner and with good intentions".

"The Embassy has never engaged either with Ecuadorian colleagues, or with anyone else, in discussions on any kind of Russia's participation in ending Mr Assange's stay within the diplomatic mission of Ecuador", Russia's embassy in London wrote on its web site in a response to The Guardian story.

In March, the Ecuadorian government disconnected Assange's internet access and barred him from receiving visitors for allegedly violating "a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states". Britain and Ecuador fearUS prosecutors have a sealed indictment against him and will extradite him to the US.

It was not immediately evident if Ecuadorean officials had any contact with Russian Federation as part of the Assange appointment.

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