Ecuador fears for Assange, adopts him

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange | AP

Not only is it hard having a permanent asylum seeker in the very small embassy, it leaves Ecuador with tricky diplomatic relations with all the other countries involved - the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Sweden.

Ecuador's newly elected president Lenin Moreno has warned Assange that he must respect asylum conditions and refrain from getting involved in the affairs of other countries. A spokeswoman for the registry declined to comment when asked if Assange had been granted citizenship. The Australian became an Ecuadorian citizen on December 12.

However, an FCO spokesman said on Wednesday: "The Government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK".

"Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice", the spokesperson added.

Espinosa had said on Tuesday her government was looking at the possibility of a "third country or a personality" stepping in to resolve the stand-off.

In 2016, a United Nations panel stated that Mr Assange had been "arbitrarily detained" and should get compensation - a ruling branded by then UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond as "ridiculous".

"The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration's public threats to "take down" Mr Assange".

The anti-secrecy group's chief has been based at the Ecuador embassy in central London since 2012 after he lost appeals against sexual assault charges in Sweden.

He was also a point of contention in Ecuador's 2017 presidential election.

Assange later taunted after Lasso's loss that he would "cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days".

Ecuador subsequently asked the United Kingdom to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent - a move that could have given him immunity.

What could happen to Julian Assange now?

Two allegations - rape and molestation - are made against him.

In February 2011, a British judge rules Assange can be extradited to Sweden. The Ecuadorian government has granted him political asylum. A whole coterie of left liberals and pseudo-left organizations have provided political cover for the state vendetta against Assange, seeking to legitimize the phony sexual misconduct charges against him, while tying him to the claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 USA election.

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