Lawyer alleges Ecuador spread lies about WikiLeaks founder

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ended Assange’s protected status after more than 6 years

Police bundle WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy into a police van in London after he was arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police and taken into custody Thursday April 11, 2019. Police in London arrested WikiLeaks founder Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy Thursday for failing to surrender to the court in 2012, shortly after the South American nation revoked his asylum. (@DailyDOOH via AP)

A lawyer representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged Sunday that Ecuador’s government has spread lies about his behaviour inside its embassy in London, where Assange sought asylum in 2012.

The Latin American country has claimed Assange actions deteriorated before his arrest Thursday and included putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the bathroom, and not properly looking after his cat.

READ MORE: U.S. charges Wikileaks’ Assange with conspiring with Manning

Lawyer Jennifer Robinson told British TV network Sky News the Ecuadorian government is spreading alleged falsehoods to divert attention from its decision to revoke his asylum and allow his arrest at its British embassy,

“I think the first thing to say is Ecuador has been making some pretty outrageous allegations over the past few days to justify what was an unlawful and extraordinary act in allowing British police to come inside an embassy,” Robinson said.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ended Assange’s protected status after more than 6 1/2 years and opened the way for his arrest there Thursday.

Moreno said Assange abused Ecuador’s goodwill, mistreated embassy staff and used his perch to try to interfere in other country’s political affairs.

Assange has had “a very difficult time” since Moreno took office in Ecuador in 2017, Robinson said.

Assange, who appeared much older when he emerged from the embassy than when before he sought refuge there in August 2012, is in custody at Belmarsh Prison in southeast London awaiting sentencing in Britain for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden as part of an investigation of a rape allegation. Sweden is considering reviving the investigation.

The United States also is seeking his extradition after charging him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system, which could lead to competing extradition demands.

U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid would be expected to have the final say in which claim takes priority. More than 70 British legislators have urged Javid to give priority to a case involving rape allegations ahead of the U.S. request.

He would not be expected to enter a plea to the Department of Justice case unless he loses his extradition case and is brought to a courtroom in the United States.

Assange has denied the rape allegation, asserting the sex was consensual. He also has not formally responded to the U.S. conspiracy charge. His indictment was made public hours after his Thursday arrest, but Assange’s lawyers say he is a legitimate journalist whose prosecution would have a chilling effect.

The extradition court in Britain will not be judging the evidence against him, but will evaluate whether the crime he is accused of would be a crime in Britain.

Assange’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 2. In the meantime, he is expected to seek prison medical care for severe shoulder pain and dental problems, WikiLeaks has said.

Gregory Katz, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Traffic calming in your neighbourhood

Since the police are only part of the solution, what are the alternatives?

COVID-19 means different graduations for Cowichan students in 2020

At Lake Cowichan students did the traditional hat toss

Mary Lowther column: Pre-sprouting corn in paper towels

My new packet of spinach didn’t grow when I put the seeds directly into potting soil

Sarah Simpson Column: Diving into Dahl with my darlings

“Why don’t we pull out the Roald Dahl collection we got a couple years ago?”

Renovated Lake Cowichan town hall will include emergency operations centre

Upgrade project expected to be complete within months

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Most Read