Ecuadorian embassy 'to kick out Assange'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been cooped up in the embassy in the British capital for seven years after claiming asylum

In this photo taken on May 19, 2017, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange peers through the window prior to speaking on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London.

Ecuador previous year posed new rules for Assange's behaviour while in the embassy, which required him to pay his medical bills and clean up after his pet cat.

Though Swedish prosecutors dropped rape and assault charges against Assange in 2017, USA authorities remain keenly interested in him, and as such the footpath outside the Ecuadorian embassy has featured a near-constant United Kingdom police presence for the entire duration of Assange's stay.

The Ecuadorian official said on Friday that no decision had been made to expel Mr Assange.

Mr Assange faces imminent expulsion from the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London, the organisation said, despite denials from the ambassador and his government in Quito, the capital.

Holed up in the building since 2012, Assange had applied for asylum there to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault charges.

"It is not that he can not speak and express himself freely, but he can not lie, nor much less hack private accounts or phones". Moreno, speaking in a nationwide broadcast February 27, denied any wrongdoing.

Mr Assange would be likely to be arrested if he was forced out of the embassy, as a Met Police arrest warrant is still in force.

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WikiLeaks issued a statement to AP shortly after making the claim, asserting "If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher's asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind".

"But the bigger question still is whether the US Government will assert criminal charges against him and seek his extradition to the United States".

Although the Swedish investigation was dropped past year, Assange still faced charges in Britain for jumping bail.

Relations between Mr Assange and Ecuador have grown increasingly prickly as the years have dragged on, and the Australian has faced increasing pressure to leave the embassy in recent months.

While there has been no official confirmation, in November 2018, an administrative mix-up in the USA justice department-that saw Assange's court filing apparently submitted in error-indicated that the WikiLeaks founder's suspicions may indeed be true.

It also required Assange to pay his medical bills and clean up after his pet cat.

In October, the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder had complained Ecuador was violating his "fundamental rights" and he was living in an "inhuman situation". Assange, who was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012, lost local and global legal challenges against the protocol.

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