Ecuador in 2017 gave Wikileaks founder Julian Assange a diplomatic post in Russian Federation but rescinded it after Britain refused to give him diplomatic immunity, according to an Ecuadorean government document seen by Reuters.
Russian diplomats have secretly discussed extracting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and escorting him out of the United Kingdom and beyond the reach of a potential US extradition request, The Guardian reported Friday.
Details emerged about the incident through a letter from the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry to a legislator.
The Foreign Office responded a couple of days later, stating: "We did not consider that Mr Assange enjoys any type of privileges and immunities under the Vienna Convention".More news: Owen Hargreaves Challenges Young Manchester United Duo to Emulate Liverpool Sensations
The persona of Julian Assange has become a thorn in Ecuador's president Lenin Moreno's side and, ever since assuming office in May of past year, Moreno has made every effort to make sure the Australian's stay at Ecuador's embassy in London comes to an end as soon as possible.
"Special designation" refers to the ability of the Ecuadorian President to appoint individuals to diplomatic posts even if they are not career diplomats. "It is worth noting that attempts to picture Ecuadorian diplomats' meetings at the Russian embassy in the light of conspiracy theories do not stand up to criticism", the ministry stressed.
British authorities have said they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy, meaning he would have needed to be recognised as a diplomat in order to travel to Moscow. "The plan was abandoned after it was deemed too risky", the Guardian alleged. It took the newspaper a mere five paragraphs of its 1,000-word report to bring up "questions about Assange's ties to the Kremlin" in the context of the notorious Mueller probe and alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. elections.
He stated he did not come into possession of the emails from Russian Federation, but did not deny they could have been handed to him by a third party.More news: Windham County horse tests positive for West Nile virus
It was not immediately evident if Ecuadorean officials had any contact with Russian Federation as part of the Assange appointment.
Assange, who was granted political asylum by Quito in 2012, announced he had been made an Ecuadorean citizen after Christmas, shortly after the embassy had been rejected in its...
Vintimilla, who discussed some of the documents during a Thursday press conference, said Assange should lose his citizenship as a result of that letter.More news: Britain’s May Says Brexit Negotiations Have Reached ‘an Impasse’