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

Just Posted

Senior sentenced in Nanaimo for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Reducing crime starts in the home

Report any suspicious activity in any part of Nanaimo, urges letter writer

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal presents variety show at the Queen’s

Performances at 420 Sharp Dressed Fam show will be filmed for live concert video

Nanaimo RCMP probe eight fires at Brechin Elementary School

Police say fires appear to have been set intentionally

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Beefs & Bouquets, April 18

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

City wants public input on shopping bag bylaw

City launches public consultation on single-use shopping bags regulation

Man pleads guilty to child porn charges in Nanaimo, Crown alleges 250,000 images

Psychiatric assessment requested by Crown, sentencing to be set June 4 in Nanaimo court

Federal environment minister in Nanaimo-Ladysmith to boost Liberal campaign

Catherine McKenna knocked on doors today with candidate Michelle Corfield

PPC leader Bernier works to build party’s profile in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

People’s Party of Canada candidate Jennifer Clarke and leader Maxime Bernier hold town hall

Nanaimo Business Awards celebrate an ‘outstanding’ year

Winners were revealed last week at a gala event at the Port Theatre

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Most Read