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

Just Posted

North Island Bantam Eagles ice Clippers, clinch Tier 2 league banner

“We will enjoy the moment for now, but… it’s back to work on Tuesday”

Upgrades to Port Hardy arena hinge on grant funding

The district is waiting on grant approval from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure program.

Scarlett Point lighthouse keeper wins a million bucks playing the lottery

“I usually just get a quick pick, so I didn’t expect to win a big prize”

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: North Island beauty

“don’t forget to look up and observe the beauty of the whole North Island”

LETTER: Miles put on the car causes North Island driver to reflect

“Up here in Port McNeill we are so blessed with nature’s tranquillity all around us”

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Most Read