WikiLeaks’ Assange defies Ecuadorian warnings, will publish any evidence of corruption
Speaking at a ceremony at the Cochasqui archeological site in the Northern Andes on Thursday, President Moreno “respectfully” called on Assange “not to interfere in Ecuadorian politics, nor in the politics of its allies.”
“His status does not allow him to talk about the politics of any country, let alone ours,” he said, according to CapitalNews.
In response, Assange, who is still under virtual house arrest inside Ecuador’s London embassy, sent out a series of tweets that seemed to imply he would fulfill his duty as a journalist to work in the “public interest,” regardless of the embassy’s hospitality.
He added that if there are any legal barriers to him publishing, he will find alternatives to assure that the material reaches the public.
Ecuadorians can be confident that if WikiLeaks receives evidence of corruption in Ecuador it will be published.— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) 26 May 2017
In any instance where there is a genuine legal barrier to me being the publisher I will recuse myself and my replacement will publish.— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) 26 May 2017
Finally, I note that WikiLeaks publishes from EU, etc not Ecuador. If CIA et al have a problem with press freedoms take it up with the EU.— Julian Assange (@JulianAssange) May 26, 2017
Despite the warning, Moreno, who took office on Wednesday, also said his country “will ensure” Britain “allows the transfer of Mr. Assange to Ecuador or to the country in which he wishes to reside.”
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 in order to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sex offence allegations.
Although Swedish prosecutors dropped the case last week, British police say Assange could still be arrested for breaching bail conditions, which has forced him to remain in the embassy.
If arrested, Assange fears he will be extradited to the US for leaking classified material.
Appearing on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy last Friday, Assange said there is still much to do before he can walk free.
“We have today won an important victory, but the road is far from over. The proper war is just commencing.
“The claim that the UK has the right to arrest me for seeking asylum in a case where there have been no charges is simply untenable,” Assange remarked.
“My legal staff have contacted the UK authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward,” he noted.
Assange has also pledged that WikiLeaks will carry on publishing material in the US, and even “accelerate” this process.