According to WikiLeaks, the organization’s founder, Julian Assange, could be expelled by the Ecuadorian embassy in London imminently, citing “hours to days” and attributing the timeline to a high-level source, The New York Post reports. This week, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.
“[Someone has circulated] photos of my bedroom, what I eat and how my wife and daughters and friends dance,” the Ecuadorian president said. “We should ensure Mr. Assange’s life is not at risk but he’s violated the agreement we have with him so many times.”
While he did not explicitly state that Assange was behind the leaked photos, he did indicate that they were circulating online while calling for the potential removal of Assange from the embassy.
WikiLeaks, on the other hand, characterizes Moreno’s attitude toward Assange differently. In public statements, the organization has said that the move has nothing to do with the circulation of private photos and is rather related to WikiLeaks’s reporting of the “INA Papers,” an anonymously filed dossier that implicates Moreno and his family in a number of allegations of crime and official wrongdoing.
The papers paint a picture of Moreno that touches on corruption, perjury, and money laundering. They link Moreno to a Chinese company, Sinohydro, who, as part of a hydroelectric dam project, deposited millions into an offshore account connected to Moreno’s brother.
BREAKING: A high level source within the Ecuadorian state has told @WikiLeaks that Julian Assange will be expelled within "hours to days" using the #INAPapers offshore scandal as a pretext--and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest.https://t.co/adnJph79wq— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 4, 2019
Moreno continues to deny the allegations and their associated implications as he pushes for Assange’s dismissal from the embassy.
Assange has remained in the embassy since 2012, when he applied for asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden for sexual assault charges in that country. Assange denies that he is guilty of the charges.
In any case, as The Inquisitr has covered, there is significant speculation that London police are ready to arrest Assange immediately should he be expelled from the embassy. WikiLeaks, in a tweet last month, said that a change in police activity near the embassy suggested the possibility that something was afoot with respect to Assange’s tenure at the embassy.
“A build up of plain clothes ear-piece wearing operatives around the Ecuador embassy in London in the last two days has been sighted by Julian Assange’s lawyers. There are normally 2-4 plainclothes British operatives present. The reason for the increase is not publicly known,” the organization tweeted.
On April 4, in a another tweet, WikiLeaks acknowledge that an arrest was potentially imminent and indicated that an agreement with the United Kingdom was already in place to coordinate his arrest.