06:59 GMT28 October 2020
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    During his European trip, the country’s President Moreno confirmed that his government has been in contact with the British authorities and stated that the whistleblower should eventually leave the embassy, where he took refuge in 2012 fearing extradition to the US for leaking documents on the Iraq War.

    The legal team of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has remained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years fearing extradition to the US, has told Sputnik that the representatives of the country’s government have refused to meet the whistleblower’s defenders.

    According to one of his lawyers, Carlos Poveda, they requested talks in London or Madrid, but were rebuffed as “the agenda did not allow such a meeting."

    He voiced concern after the recent statements by Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno, who recently confirmed during his European tour that his country is having talks with the UK authorities on Assange. The defender points out that it had been officially stated that Assange’s case wouldn’t be discussed during Moreno’s trip to Europe.

    "We know that Assange's issue is somehow being considered… which leads us to confusion. We are surprised by his personal position, which shows that he has never agreed with the granting of asylum," the lawyer told Sputnik.

    The recent development also outraged the whistleblower’s supporters, who shared their revolt on Twitter and in protests.

    ​In Madrid, where Moreno headed after a visit to the UK, he said that "The only person I’ve never talked to is Mr. Assange," confirming that Ecuadorian authorities “are constantly talking with the British Government, with the ambassador, who is their representative in Ecuador."

    Moreno also said that Assange should eventually leave the country's embassy and disapproved of Assange's activity, never agreeing with “the interventions in people's private emails in order to obtain information.”

    He stressed, however, that all Ecuador wants is the guarantee that Assange’s life wouldn’t be in danger.

    Later, Ecuador's National Communications Ministry issued a statement saying that “President of the Republic [of Ecuador] Lenin Moreno did not order that Julian Assange leave the Embassy of Ecuador in London at any point."

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

    Assange took refuge at Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 after he was accused of sexual offenses in Sweden during the presidency of Rafael Correa. While the charges have since been dropped, he still fears extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking Iraq War logs.

    Following Lenín Moreno taking the office in 2017, the leaker’s conditions have taken a turn for the worse. In March, the embassy cut off Assange's internet access, stating the 46-year-old had violated an agreement that stated he would not interfere with Ecuador's relationship with other countries.

    Moreno, who referred to Assange as “more than a nuisance” and an “inherited problem,” also ordered the shutting down of special security reports that the country had spent at least $5 million on a spy operation to support and protect Assange in its embassy in London.


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    refuge, Iraq War, embassy, whistleblowing, extradition, WikiLeaks, Lenin Moreno, Julian Assange, US, United Kingdom, Ecuador, London
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