Rumors continue to grow that the UK and Ecuador have reached a deal to evict the Wikileaks founder and end his embassy asylum.
Speculation has reached a crescendo as Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, visits London this week for disabilities summit.
While both governments have officially downplayed any official discussion regarding ending Assange’s asylum, reports by both the Intercept and Reuters have claimed that both governments are in fact in discussions to agree a deal to hand the Australian national over to UK police.
Previous comments by Moreno in relation to Assange however paint a different picture. Moreno has previously said that Assange is an “inherited problem,” “unsustainable” and “a stone in his shoe.”
Can I crash for the night?
Assange has lived for the last six years in the Ecuadorian Embassy whilst claiming diplomatic asylum. He initially sought refuge there in 2012, after he broke bail in connection to sexual assault allegations made against him in Sweden. While the Swedish investigation was dropped in 2017 due to time limits imposed by Swedish laws, a U.K. warrant for his arrest on bail-jumping charges is still current. But as long as Assange continues to remain in the embassy, he cannot be arrested by U.K. authorities.
A recent report in the Sunday Times claimed that senior officials from Ecuador and Britain have been in discussions since last week about how to remove him from the embassy after revocation of his asylum.
“The situation is very serious. Things are coming to a head,” a source told Reuters, and also said that the future for Assange was “not looking good”.
Assange has long argued that revocation of his current diplomatic status will start the process of beginning to pave the way for his extradition to the US for charges in relation to the publication of a huge cache of American diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website.
After spending almost £13 million policing the Ecuadorian embassy, the UK ended a permanent police guard at the front door in 2015, have said that Assange will be arrested if and when he leaves the embassy.