MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno on Monday called WikiLeaks whistleblowing website founder Julian Assange "a hacker," though, expressed respect to his situation, which makes Assange to continue residing at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
"Mr. Assange is a hacker. That is something we and personally I reject… I respect the condition, in which he is… we also ask him to respect the situation he is in," Moreno told reporters as quoted by RTVECUADOR broadcaster.
In April, Moreno won the presidential election in Ecuador before assuming office on May 24.
On May 26, Moreno asked Assange not to interfere in the internal affairs of the country, as well as other states' politics, while remaining in his delicate position.
"Posting evidence of corruption is not a hack. I am journalist and editor. Even the United States does not call me a hacker," Assange said on Twitter in response to Moreno's words on Monday.
Earlier in May, Swedish prosecutors confirmed dropping the long-running rape investigation against Assange. UK police, on the other hand, have insisted that they would still have to arrest the WikiLeaks founder for past violations of bail conditions if he stepped out of the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been holed up for years.
Assange has been residing at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 for fear of being extradited to Sweden on sexual abuse allegations. On December 4, 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention's (WGAD) ruled that Assange's detention was arbitrary. The United Kingdom and Sweden refused to recognize the legitimacy of the decision and to end Assange's prosecution.