Ecuador Gives Assange Citizenship, Worsening Standoff With Britain

Pauline Gross
January 12, 2018

Here are key dates in Julian Assange's extradition battle after Ecuador on Thursday announced it had granted the WikiLeaks founder citizenship.

Media reports in Britain quoted Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa responding to the decision, as saying: "No solution will be achieved without global cooperation and the co-operation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out". Assange refuses to surrender to the British authorities, fearing they would extradite him to the United States where he expects to be prosecuted for his subversive activities.

Assange was also charged with sexual assault crimes in Sweden, but those charges were dropped in May 2017.

June 19, 2012: Seeks political asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa said Ecuador was looking for a "third country or a personality" to arbitrate the situation with the United Kingdom and was "considering and exploring the possibility of mediation".

Ecuador's newly elected president Lenin Moreno has warned Assange that he must respect asylum conditions and refrain from getting involved in the affairs of other countries.

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In July 2014 a Swedish court upholds the European arrest warrant against Assange and in November Assange loses an appeal against the arrest warrant.

Yesterday, all the talk was that he may be expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has spent the past five years avoiding arrest.

In March, Swedish prosecutors offer to question Assange in London. "Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice". The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said last May that Assange's arrest was now a "priority". The Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry at first responded that it would not address "rumors or distorted or out-of-context information", Germany's DPA news agency reported.

The UK's rejection of a diplomatic pass comes after Assange tweeted a cryptic picture of him dressed in the colours of Ecuador.

In February 2016, the United Nations panel confirms its view that Assange has been "arbitrarily detained", saying he should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden.

Other reports by GizPress

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