- Wikileaks Julian Assange could be removed from the Ecuador Embassy in London “imminently.”
- He has been there six years, in an attempt to avoid extradition to Sweden or the US.
- His health is failing.
LONDON — Julian Assange will be kicked out of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London — where he has lived in diplomatic isolation since 2012 — “imminently,” a source has told The Times of London. CNN reports that Downing Street is in “ongoing” discussions with Ecuador and the United States over his fate.
Both Ecuador and Britain want to ensure Assange remains unharmed. But their suspicion is that US prosecutors have a sealed indictment against him and will extradite him to America, where he faces prison if convicted of charges related to the publication of US documents that were subject to national security secrecy protections. CNN said :
“The recent indictments issued by US Special Counsel Robert Mueller imply that Assange and WikiLeaks were a conduit for Russian intelligence in distributing hacked Democratic Party emails in 2016.”
“Whether a sealed indictment awaits Assange in relation to the Russian hacking investigation is unknown. But according to US officials, charges have been drawn up relating to previous WikiLeaks disclosures of classified US documents.”
The Times said Assange could be evicted from the Embassy at any moment. A member of Assange’s support team said that he might leave in “hours, days or weeks.”
Assange took refuge in the Embassy after he was sought by prosecutors in Sweden in an investigation of rape and sexual assault. The Swedes dropped the case. But British authorities maintained an arrest order for him based on a breach of his bail agreement with UK police. Ecuador granted him asylum inside the Embassy, shielding him from extradition to the US or Sweden, and from arrest in the UK.
Six years indoors have taken their toll. Assange’s health is said to be failing, lending some urgency to the search for a solution. /