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Assange might be evicted

by on09 February 2017

Ecuador finding him an embarrassment

Julian Assange may soon be asked to leave the Ecuadorian embassy where he has been holed up to avoid questioning on Swedish sex charges since 2012.

One presidential candidate, who will fight in the election next week, has promised that he will "cordially ask" Mr Assange to leave if he wins the contest. And the existing government is also finding itself unhappy with Mr Assange's continuing stay.

Guillermo Lasso, who is running for president as part of the rightwing Creo-Suma alliance, said that if he wins next week he will get straight to asking Mr Assange to leave.

“The Ecuadorian people have been paying a cost that we should not have to bear. We will cordially ask Señor Assange to leave within 30 days of assuming a mandate.”

At the moment, Lasso is behind the ruling party candidate Lenín Moreno, but the election is expected to be close.

Now the existing foreign minister has questioned the ongoing asylum being granted to Assange, and the situation has been described as "something out of a John le Carré novel".

Foreign minister Guillaume Long said that staff at the embassy have been through too much and there is a human cost. This is probably the most watched embassy on the planet.

Long described Assange's situation as "precarious".

“In terms of his physical comfort we have done all we can," he said. "But there is no access to an outside space. There is no patio or garden so he has mostly spent four and a half years on the first floor of a building in London, where there is not much light, especially in winter.”

Assange’s antics have been a bit of a problem for the embassy. During the US election his internet was cut off, because he was releasing anti-Clinton emails from his room and implicating Ecuador in getting Donald Trump elected.

The WikiLeaks founder promised he would leave the building if Barack Obama pardoned whistleblower Chelsea Clinton. When that happened, Assange backed down. Maybe his Russian handler can find him a spot in that country's embassy.



Last modified on 09 February 2017
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