Judge orders Julian Assange to clean up after cat, pay bills

Julian Assange says Ecuador seeking to end his asylum at London embassy

Julian Assange says Ecuador seeking to end his asylum at London embassy

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange argued Monday that Ecuador's government is trying to force him out of that country's embassy in London with the goal of handing him over to the United States.

Relations between Assange and the South American country have been increasingly frosty of late, but Salvador told reporters last week Assange was welcome to stay in the embassy with the new rules.

During the hearing, Assange said the new rules were a sign Ecuador was trying to push him out, and said Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno had already made a decision to end his asylum but had not yet officially given the order.

The rules also make clear that if Mr Assange does not properly feed and take care of his cat, the animal could be sent to the pound.

Ecuador's Foreign Minister Jose Valencia told Reuters last week that the government was "frustrated" by the lawsuit and that it would no longer intervene with British authorities on Assange's behalf.

Assange has been holed up in a small room in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than six years, initially entering it to avoid extradition for a rape charge in Sweden.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says the new rules are a veiled attempt to evict him from the embassy.

Assange spoke from the embassy via teleconference at the first hearing of a lawsuit in Quito that was initiated by his legal team against the Ecuadorean government.

Nonetheless, Assange remains wanted in Britain for jumping bail, and he also fears a possible US extradition based on his leaking of classified State Department documents.

Judge Karina Martinez ruled against Mr Assange, saying that the foreign ministry was in charge of determining his living conditions.

He remains wanted in the United Kingdom for jumping bail, and he also fears a possible extradition to the United States for leaking classified State Department documents.

Staff had complained of Assange riding a skateboard in the halls of the embassy, of playing soccer on the grounds and behaving aggressively with security personnel. If his asylum comes to an end, the British might confront him with an outstanding warrant for his arrest, and extradition to the USA means Assange could face charges related to the Espionage Act due to Wikileaks' publication of sensitive government information.

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