Ecuador President Says Assange Broke Asylum Deal

He blames WikiLeaks for leak of private photos
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2019 2:40 AM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2019 6:47 AM CDT
Candles and banners are placed on the pavement outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – There are fresh signs that Julian Assange's extremely long stay in Ecuador's London embassy might be nearing its end. President Lenin Moreno told the Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters' Association Tuesday that the WikiLeaks founder has "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum in the embassy, where he has been holed up since 2012, reports Reuters. The president complained that "photos of my bedroom, what I eat and how my wife and daughters and friends dance" had been shared online. He didn't accuse Assange himself of sharing the private photos, though his government has said it believes WikiLeaks is responsible for the leak, the Guardian reports.

"It is not that he cannot speak and express himself freely, but he cannot lie, nor much less hack private accounts or phones," Moreno 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." WikiLeaks called the accusations "completely bogus" and accused Moreno of seeking revenge after it reported on corruption allegations against him. "If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher's asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind," WikiLeaks said in a statement, per the AP. According to WikiLeaks, Moreno had said he will make a decision on Assange's future "in the short term." (Last year, Ecuador ordered Assange to avoid political activity and look after his cat properly.)

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