WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to be expelled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within ‘hours to days’ on Friday morning, April 5, according to a WikiLeaks high-level source.
Ruptly is live from the Embassy of Ecuador in London, where Julian Assange is set to be expelled by the government of Lenin Moreno using as pretext the INA Papers leak. The Ecuadorian government has according to WikiLeaks brokered a deal with the UK for Assange’s arrest.
WikiLeaks warned Thursday its founder “will be expelled within ‘hours to days’” from Ecuador’s London embassy and Ecuador has an agreement with Britain to have him arrested.
President Lenin Moreno will use the pretext of a scandal engulfing his presidency to oust Assange, a “high level source” in the Ecuador government told WikiLeaks.
Moreno has accused WikiLeaks of leaking documents allegedly implicating him and his family in a corruption scheme with a Panamanian investment firm, INA Investments Corp. WikiLeaks has denied being behind the leaks and no documents related to the scandal appear on its website.
Moreno said the alleged leak by WikiLeaks is a breach in a “protocol” with Assange that allows him to remain in the London embassy in exchange for his public silence on all political matters. Assange has never agreed to the protocol. His social media accounts were shut down by Ecuador in March 2018.
Because of this so-called “breach,” Assange will be made to leave the embassy and arrested by British authorities. Assange has been a refugee inside the embassy since 2012, fearing if he were to be arrested the UK would extradite him to the United States to stand trail for publishing classified information.
Last week Assange engaged in a shouting match with Ecuador’s ambassador inside the embassy. The move to expel Assange has been building for months. Last week Defend Assange, a publication of WikiLeaks-linked Courage Foundation, reported:
“On 28 March, Communications Minister Andrés Michelena told CNN Español that the INApapers were part of a plot [by] Julian Assange, Venezuelan President Maduro and former Ecuadorian President Correa to bring down Moreno’s government. [Michelena] added, ‘You have to understand how these people are connected, Mr. Assange is the Troll Center, the hacker for former President Correa, [Assange] handles the technological and social media side.’
That same day, the national assembly, in which Moreno’s party and other right parties command a majority, passed a resolution inviting the Foreign Ministry to take action against Assange’s asylum on the basis of the INApapers leak “in the national interest” if it considers it pertinent to do so.”
Editor’s note: They aren’t going to want to try in court Assange in the US because the NYTimes and Washington Post published WikiLeaks info. If he gets convicted of something, they’ll go down too, because they’ve all published the material.
“Soon after he took over as C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo privately told lawmakers about a new target for American spies: Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks. Pompeo and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions unleashed an aggressive campaign against Assange, reversing an Obama-era view of WikiLeaks as a journalistic entity.”
So the concern is now (and always has been) what America will do to Assange outside a courtroom if they get their hands on him. Torture, murder, who knows? The American government does all that and more to folks all over the world every day.
The powers that be are angry WikiLeaks released Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed
Bottom line: if Julian Assange were a person of color – what the British and Australians call a wog – he’d be dead already.
His actions seem to pretty readily fall within the strict terms of the act, but then so do those of The New York Times and dozens of other outlets.
The more interesting question is whether a violation of the act can be proven, given how the act has been interpreted. As recent failed efforts to prosecute two alleged recipients of classified material about Israel show, these prosecutions are fraught with challenges that make it hard to prove a violation beyond a reasonable doubt. Most notably, the courts said the act requires proof of some form of “specific intent” or “bad faith” for a conviction.
No doubt a colorable [seemingly valid] case can be made against Assange — but a conviction is much less certain. A jury might buy Assange’s assertion of a “good government/transparency” motive.