Fri January 19, 2018
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

World

AFP
January 12, 2018

Share

Advertisement

Ecuador grants citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Assange: FM

Ecuador grants citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Assange: FM

QUITO: Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been sheltering at its London embassy for five years to avoid arrest, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa announced Thursday.

Espinosa told a press conference in Quito that Assange, a 46-year-old Australian, became an Ecuadoran citizen on December 12, in what appears to have been an unsuccessful move to usher him out of the embassy without exposing him to arrest.She said Ecuador had asked London to recognize Assange as a diplomat — which would give him safe passage out of the embassy without fear of arrest — but Britain had refused.

“The Ecuadoran government is empowered to grant nationality to the protected person and thus facilitate... his inclusion in the host state,” Espinosa told reporters.She said the request to Britain to accept diplomatic status for Assange was made on December 20, and denied a day later. The foreign minister said Quito would not insist further on the issue because of the “good relations we have with the United Kingdom”.

The British foreign ministry said in a statement that Ecuador had “recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.”

Ecuador’s attempt to obtain diplomatic status for Assange comes as part of the country’s broader efforts to resolve the case of their long-term lodger, who moved into the embassy in 2012 to avoid arrest over a Swedish probe into rape allegations.

Sweden dropped their investigation over the 2010 allegations last year, but British police have said they are still seeking to arrest him for failing to surrender to a court after violating bail terms. “Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” Britain’s foreign ministry said on Thursday.

Assange has refused to step outside the embassy and claimed he fears being extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks’ publication of leaked secret US military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

Advertisement

Comments

Advertisement
Advertisement

Topstory

Opinion

Newspost

Editorial

National

World

Sports

Business

Karachi

Lahore

Islamabad

Peshawar