04:33 GMT +323 November 2019
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    Banners in support of arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are seen on the pavement in front of Westminster Magistrates Court in London

    Assange's Legal Team Files Lawsuit Against Ecuador Over Extortion

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    Assange had been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly seven years before his asylum was revoked on 11 April, followed by his arrest and further extradition to the Westminster Magistrate's Court.

    Julian Assange's lawyers have filed a lawsuit against a group of Spaniards, members of staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, as well as Ecuador's Foreign Ministry over extortion, AFP reported, citing Assange's defence team.

    Earlier, Spanish media reported that the group of Spaniards had got hold of Assange's videos and personal documents, which they threatened to publish unless paid $3.3 million by the WikiLeaks team.

    The lawsuit was reportedly brought forward in Spain. The source also noted that an investigation into the matter was ongoing, adding that Assange was allegedly spied on in the embassy. However, the source failed to provide evidence or further details.

    READ MORE: UN Expert Says Concerned Assange Faced at Least 2 Forms of Privacy Infringement

    Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, was caught in the lens of the general public after his website published a large trove of classified documents, including some that exposed abuses of power and war crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    In 2012, Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

    The WikiLeaks whistle-blower had been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for almost seven years before his asylum was revoked, leading to his arrest by UK police for jumping bail in Westminster Magistrate's Court.

    The next hearing in Assange's case is set to take place on 2 May.

    Related:

    WikiLeaks Lawyers to Visit Assange in UK Jail in Coming Days
    Assange Put 'Through Hell' as Quito Tried to 'Break Him Down', Ex-Diplomat Says
    Ecuador Giving Up Assange Shows Country Turning Into ‘US Vassal’ – Former FM
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    extortion, lawsuit, Wikileaks, Julian Assange, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Spain
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