13:19 GMT28 September 2020
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    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living for six years while claiming diplomatic asylum, according to The Intercept. Sputnik discussed the issue with International lawyer Toby Cadman.

    Sputnik: What do you make of the report into Assange possibly leaving the Embassy?

    Toby Cadman: I think it’s quite extraordinary considering he was granted political asylum by the government of Ecuador and this shows there has been a change in politics and the Ecuador government has been put under a huge amount of pressure by the American government I would have thought. This is a huge turnabout and is quite worrying about what they have done in terms of cutting off all of his communications with a view of forcing him out. I think what they have tried to do is make his situation so intolerable that he leaves voluntarily. He obviously feels he is still at risk so he hasn’t left voluntarily, so it looks like they’ll throw him out.

    READ MORE: The Crucifixion of Julian Assange: 'Never Send to Know For Whom The Bell Tolls'

    Sputnik: Why has the change in policy come now from the Ecuador government?

    Toby Cadman: It’s hard to say, I think the Ecuador government is trying to re-establish links political and diplomatic links with the United States and the United Kingdom, I believe this has been one of the stumbling blocks for them. As we know Julian still has a charge hanging over him in relation to breaking bail, so the UK authorities are not going to let him step out. I think it is clear that the position of the Ecuador government has changed, he was an asset to them previously and they now obviously feel he is no longer worth the political capital.

    READ MORE: Assange Could Become First Journalist Put on Trial Since Colonial Days – Author

    Sputnik: If he was to leave what would happen?

    Toby Cadman: Well, I think he would certainly be arrested; he would be charged with a bail act offense because he was in breach of his bail and he could be sent to prison. Obviously, he wouldn’t be sent to prison for a great deal of time, because it’s a relatively minor offense but it’s still a bail act offense, he could serve a period of imprisonment. His fear is if he was to be detained, that would then give the US authority an opportunity to submit an extradition request for him then he could be sent to America, I think it’s unlikely that would happen, there would still be the question if he was detained, would it be right to send him to America for what can be characterised as political offences and a whistleblower. Although he fears being removed and extradited to the United States that’s unlikely in the short term, but we simply don’t know.

    The views and opinions expressed in this article by Toby Cadman are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, United States, Ecuador, Britain
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