Julian Assange’s team had plans to evacuate him from London to Russia or Cuba, but the Australian, who was watched round-the-clock by a Spanish security firm, refused to flee as it might be seen as defeat, a media report reveals.
A private security company called Undercover Global SL was eavesdropping on Julian Assange during his stay at the Ecuadorean embassy, El Pais reported, citing documents, videos and audios it has had access to. The firm was in charge of protecting diplomatic premises on London from 2012 to 2018, which probably allowed their operatives to infiltrate Ecuador’s mission.
Undercover Global collected intelligence about Assange, as well as his lawyers and assistants. Some of the firm’s documents specifically focused on the whistleblower’s meetings with lawyers visiting him to discuss legal matters. Spying noticeably intensified once Lenin Moreno, who later evicted Assange from the embassy, came to power in Ecuador.Also on rt.com ‘Everyone else must take my place’: Assange in letter from British prison
The information obtained by Undercover Global employees was then transferred to the company’s owner David Morales, a former Special Forces and intelligence officer with the Spanish marines.
One of the wiretaps showed that Assange’s team had discussed the possibility of him being moved to Russia or Cuba, but that didn’t come to pass, as the Australian said the departure could spell a “defeat” to him.Also on rt.com ‘What about Assange?’: UK Foreign Office video calling for press freedom shamed for hypocrisy
Eventually, Moreno’s government stripped Assange of his asylum, thus allowing British police to enter the Embassy and place him under arrest. In June, UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid signed an extradition request submitted by the US, where Assange is wanted on 18 charges, including 17 counts of espionage and one count of hacking into a DoD computer network.
The charges could carry a cumulative prison sentence of 180 years, which would literally mean life imprisonment. Hearings on Assange’s extradition to the US are set to begin in February next year.
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