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Ecuador dumps WikiLeaks founder: Who is Julian Assange

Ecuador has expelled the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange from its embassy in the United Kingdom, thereby returning a bit forgotten story about espionage and thousands of secret documents to the front pages
15:30, 12 April 2019

Arrest of WikiLeaks Assange
Open source

After a seven-year hideout at the British Embassy in Ecuador Julian Assange was detained by British policemen.

The WikiLeaks founder was detained at the central police station in London.

President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno in his address on Assange's arrest said he had received a guarantee from Britain that the founder of WikiLeaks would not be extradited to a country where he might face torture or death.

Thus, the seven-year history “Ecuador Embassy and Julian Assange” has come to an end. Now all is left to find out only what fate awaits the founder of WikiLeaks, since claims from the United States to him are still there. And not only from the United States.

What did it all begin with?

Julian Assange Twitter

In 2006, the Australian journalist Julian Assange founded the WikiLeaks site. The Internet resource began to publish classified information from anonymous sources around the world.

The purpose of the project was to “publish and analyze documents that became available due to information leakage.”

At the very beginning, the creators of the website said they have an information base with 1.2 million documents they collected during the first year of the website's existence.

The first material on the website was about the decision of Islamic court of Somalia on the executions of officials, which, according to the creators, was “received from a serious source in US intelligence.”

Later, Assange sent around 100,000 secret documents to a number of well-known media (including The Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times). They concerned the course of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In particular, it was about shooting of local residents. Following the publication of some evidence, an international scandal broke out.

It was not over. Assange also claimed that he had about 15,000 secret documents from the Pentagon. In July 2012, Assange claimed that WikiLeaks would publish about 2.4 million documents related to the war in Syria.

By that time, the law enforcers were already investigating the founder of WiliLeaks.

Prosecution of Assange

AP

It began in 2010. In August, this year Assange's arrest warrant was issued in Sweden, where WikiLeaks servers were housed.

He was accused of sexual harassment and rape. Assange denied all accusations saying it was because of publishing of secret documents from the so-called Afghan dossier.

The charges of rape were lifted, but on September 1, the case was reopened.

In November 2010, an arrest warrant was issued and Assange moved to London.

In December 2010, Interpol issued a warrant for his arrest, and founder of WikiLeaks was announced wanted internationally.

On December 7, 2010, Assange was arrested after voluntarily appearing at the police station. A week later, on December 14, he was released on bail and stayed in the UK under travel restrictions.

In February 2011, the court ruled to extradite Assange to Sweden, later denied the appeal and reaffirmed this decision in November of that year.

Assange appealed this decision to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, which in February 2012 retained the decision to extradite him. In June, another appeal was declined.

An interim solution came on June 19th. Assange, who was under the travel restrictions, hid himself at the Embassy of Ecuador in London and asked the country's authorities for political asylum.

At the same time

In summer 2015, the limitation period for three of the four charges against Assange run off. The term of the charges for rape ends in August 2020.

Але це були не єдині звинувачення. І не єдина країна, яка щось висувала Ассанжу.

But these were not the only accusations. And it was not just one country that accused Assange of something. 

Staying at Ecuador’s Embassy

Reuters

Assange got the political asylum from Ecuador on August 16, 2012. Since that time he lived on the territory of the embassy.

The United Kingdom considered it to be the violation of the house arrest, which meant the arrest of Assange as soon as he lives the building of the embassy.

Of course, Assange was not going to leave it.

The U.S.  strived for the extradition of  Assange as he accused of conspiracy with informatory of WikiLeaks Chelsea Manning for the stealing and publishing of the secret government documents. Assange faces imprisonment in America (according to his lawyers, his life is also endangered).

Ecuador spent at least $5 million for maintaining and protection of Assange. Since summer 2018, the embassy decreased the payments step by step, forcing WikiLeaks founder to leave the building. However, Assange stayed there until he was caught.

Meanwhile, the mass media supposed on the eve that Assange would be asked to leave the embassy soon.

Arrest and possible future

Assange was arrested on the request of the U.S. and he was afraid of the extradition to this country most of all. Lawyer of WikiLeaks founder Jen Robinson confirmed this information.

London Court left Assange under arrest until June 12 as the consideration of his case will be renewed on this date.

The first session on the extradition issue will take place on May 2.

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