Ecuador says Britain has guaranteed not to extradite Julian Assange


UK guarantees are enough for Julian Assange to leave embassy, Ecuador’s president says

If the British government guarantees that Julian Assange will not be extradited to a third country where he could face the death penalty, Assange should hand himself in to the authorities, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said.

He did not say he would force Mr Assange out, but said Mr Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

A Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site posted thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.

Ecuador says Britain has guaranteed not to extradite Julian Assange

Mr Moreno said today that Mr Assange still faces jail time in Britain for violating bail terms when he sought sanctuary to avoid extradition to Sweden so authorities could quiz him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

"There is a path for Mr. Assange to take the decision to exit into near freedom".

He also commented on the extraordinary length of time Mr Assange has been living in the embassy.

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Assange had whined that Ecuador was seeking to end his asylum and hand him over to the USA, where prosecutors were preparing t a criminal case against him.

Moreno said Assange did not need to fear he would be transferred to a country where he could face the death penalty: "According to the British government, they would never extradite a person to a country where his life is at risk".

But his relations with his hosts have soured to the point that Mr Moreno earlier this year cut off his access to the internet, purportedly for violating the terms of his asylum by speaking out on political matters.

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Those fears were heightened when United States prosecutors last month mistakenly referenced criminal charges against him in an unrelated case.

Assange responded by suing Ecuador, accusing it of violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms".

President Moreno said the sentence for skipping bail would be "not long".

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Many speculate they would be connected to the release of classified information, and Mr Assange fears a long prison sentence in the USA for what his supporters say is publishing information in the public interest.

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