Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno Tuesday, met with British officials laying the framework for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be handed over when his asylum ends and is forced out of London’s Ecuadorian Embassy being immediate arrested for espionage.

Moreno has since flown to London for a disabilities conference, however did meet with British Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt. According to embassy officials, the eviction of Assange is ‘imminent’. Once Assange has no diplomatic status and exits the Ecuadorian Embassy grounds, London police will immediately arrest him with charges of espionage, but will likely be extradited to United States (US) facing similar charges carrying a maximum 45 year sentence.

Assange’s espionage charges stem from allegedly conspiring with Pfc. Bradley Manning, with a name change to Chelsea Manning post-gender reassignment surgery, when Manning was found guilty for distributed classified material to Assange for publishing. Charged with four counts under the US’s Espionage Act, Manning was sentenced to 35 years on August 21, 2013. Manning sentence would be later commuted to 7 years as one of the last acts of outgoing US President Barack Obama.

Swedish officials pursued and won an extradition battle regarding rape allegations in 2012. Prior to deportation, Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device around his ankle. Asylum was granted and the GPS device was cut off. Even with diplomatic immunity, Assange is unable to leave the embassy for security and the possibility of arrest for charges not covered by diplomatic status. In an effort to monitor Assange’s whereabouts, a police guard was placed outside the embassy until October of 2015, with an overall cost of €13 million.

Embassy employees have complained about and dealt with Assange’s residency including constant complaints about noise resulting in a women’s restroom being converted into a living quarters forcing staff to share a single restroom with him. As early as 2012, Assange’s former associate Jérémie Zimmermann reported, “unless the people around him force him to shower, he might not change his clothes for days.”

While still acting as editor for Wikileaks, others like close aid and friend Daniel Domscheit-Berg said, “Julian ate everything with his hands and he always wiped his fingers on his pants. I have never seen pants as greasy as his in my whole life.” confirming embassy reports. A moratorium on all computers, internet access, and phones was recently placed on Assange with visitor privileges restricted to only his lawyers.

Sparse reports also claim Assange’s health is poor, increasing the total cost of his asylum to €3.7million. The revocation and expulsion from the Ecuadorian Embassy may come as early as next week according to sources close to Moreno.