Time Is Running Out For Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

RUEDA DE PRENSA CONJUNTA ENTRE CANCILLER RICARDO PATIÑO Y JULIAN ASSANGE

Cut Off From The World Since March 27, it appears that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is about to be evicted from Ecuador’s London embassy.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation keeps growing faster and faster, and last week it appeared to be closing in on Julian Assange.

Vox reported last Friday that : Special counsel Robert Mueller has filed an indictment against 12 Russian intelligence officers for crimes related to hacking and publicly releasing Democrats’ emails, as part of an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.”

Mueller alleges that, as long suspected, it was in fact Russian intelligence officers behind the high-profile hackings of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and various Hillary Clinton campaign staffers, including campaign chair John Podesta.

Many of these emails and documents were posted during the 2016 campaign by three separate entities. Two of those — “Guccifer 2.0,” and the DCLeaks website” — were created and controlled by these GRU officers from Russia’s intelligence agency, Mueller alleges. The third, WikiLeaks, got the stolen DNC emails from these GRU officials (and, eventually, the Podesta emails), but isn’t being charged with anything — it is referred to as “Organization 1” in the indictment.

British daily newspaper The Times reported on Sunday that it appeared that time was running out for Assange, reporting that Ecuador officials are engaged in high-level talks with British authorities to evict Julian Assange from their London embassy where he has been holed up for more than six years.

According to The Times:

Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister, is understood to be involved in the diplomatic effort, which comes weeks before a visit to the UK by Lenin Moreno, the new Ecuadorean president, who has called Assange a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe”.

Sources close to the Australian-born Assange said he was not aware of the talks but believed that America was exerting “significant pressure” on Ecuador, including threatening to block a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if the Latin American state did not evict him from the embassy.

The news comes after 12 Russian spies were charged with hacking the emails of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in America during her campaign to become president in 2016.

This latest information comes two months after other media outlets reported that time was running out for Assange.

The Daily Mail reported on May 14, 2018 that: “Ecuador’s foreign minister hinted that Julian Assange’s time in the country’s London embassy could be coming to a close.”

María Fernanda Espinosa said that Ecuador and the United Kingdom both want the situation to be ‘resolved’ and are working together to form a ‘definite agreement’. Espinosa made the remark as she updated reporters on Assange’s condition last week.

The Cuenca Dispatch, who bills itself as “Ecuador’s Original English-Language Newspaper,” reported that:

Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said that Ecuador and Britain “have the intention and the interest that the Julian Assange affair be resolved.” She added that discussions are underway to reach a “definite agreement” on the issue.

Questions regarding Assange’s status have been circulating since March 27th of this year, at which time Ecuador essentially cut off Assange from the rest of the world.

Agencia EFE, the world’s fourth largest wire service, reported at the time that:

Ecuador has cut off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s Internet access at its embassy in London, where he has been cooped up since 2012, saying he broke a promise not to offer opinions about other countries’ affairs, officials said Wednesday [March 28].

“Ecuador’s government has suspended the systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world from Ecuador’s embassy in London,” the National Communications Secretariat said in a statement…

President Lenin Moreno’s administration said the move was due to Assange’s non-compliance with a December 2017 written pledge not to make social media posts that constitute interference in other nations’ affairs.

Common Dreams reported this week that “Assange is in immense danger.”

If Assange falls into the hands of the British state, he faces being turned over to the U.S. Last year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that putting Assange on trial for espionage was a “priority.” CIA director Mike Pompeo, now secretary of state, asserted that WikiLeaks was a “non-state hostile intelligence service.

Elaborating on Pompeo’s remarks, CNN reported that:

US intelligence agencies have… determined that Russian intelligence used WikiLeaks to publish emails aimed at undermining the campaign of Hillary Clinton, as part of a broader operation to meddle in the US 2016 presidential election. Hackers working for Russian intelligence agencies stole thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee and officials in the Clinton campaign and used intermediaries to pass along the documents to WikiLeaks, according to a public assessment by US intelligence agencies.

Continuing their report, CNN noted that Attorney General Jeff Session weighed in on Assange the day after Pompeo made his remarks, calling him a “priority.”

Further complicating Assange’s legal problems is the recent refusal by a British judge to withdraw the country’s arrest warrant for Assange.

BBC News reported in May 2017 that: “Sweden has decided to drop the rape investigation into Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Top prosecutor Marianne Ny said his arrest warrant was being revoked as it was impossible to serve him notice.”

However, as The Guardian reported in February 2018:

Though Swedish prosecutors dropped the investigation against him, [Assange] faces arrest if he leaves the building in Knightsbridge, west London, for breaching his former bail conditions in the UK.

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Samuel Warde

Samuel is a writer, social activist, and all-around troublemaker.
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