Ecuador 'to expel' Julian Assange from London embassy 'within hours or days'

Supporters of WikiLeaks and Assange rapidly called for an increased presence at the Ecuadorian Embassy, located at Number 3, Hans Crescent in London.

Moreno, interviewed by the Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters' Association, said Assange does not have the right to "hack private accounts or phones" and can not intervene in the politics of other countries, especially those that have friendly relations with Ecuador.

Though Swedish prosecutors dropped rape and assault charges against Assange in 2017, United States authorities remain keenly interested in him, and as such the footpath outside the Ecuadorian embassy has featured a near-constant UK police presence for the entire duration of Assange's stay.

However the straw that appears to have broken the camel's back in this instance was the recent leaking of sensitive documents not strictly published by definitely facilitated by WikiLeaks that levelled accusations of corruption against Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, which feels extremely bite-the-hand-that-feeds-ish but go off I guess.

A top Ecuadorian official denied WikiLeaks' claim and said no decision had been taken to expel Assange. Over the past months, the Ecuadorian authorities have been putting various restrictions on conditions of Julian Assange's stay in the embassy, which his defense called the violation of human rights.

He added: "Assange can not lie or, much less, hack into private accounts or private phones".

It followed a British judge's ruling that he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

Assange, an Australian national, chose to remain in the embassy out of fear that the United States would immediately seek his arrest and extradition over the leaking of classified documents to WikiLeaks by then-US Army soldier Chelsea Manning. In an unrelated case, federal prosecutors in Virginia, said that "no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged".

Mr Assange has been living inside the embassy for nearly seven years.

Ecuador past year established new rules for Assange's behavior while in the embassy, which required him to pay his medical bills and clean up after his pet cat.

Mr Assange a year ago lost his access to the internet, and a new set of rules was set, dictating that he avoid contentious political issues, clean his bathroom and look after his cat if he wanted the internet reconnected. Assange, who was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012, lost local and global legal challenges against the protocol.

  • Jon Douglas