Assange's Lawyer Rejects Moreno's Deal to Leave Ecuadorian Embassy in UK

Assange

Assange

Ecuador's president has ramped up pressure on Julian Assange to leave his country's embassy in London, saying Britain has provided sufficient guarantees that the WikiLeaks founder won't be extradited to face the death penalty overseas.

Assange, who gained global renown by publishing huge caches of hacked State Department and Pentagon files, has repeatedly expressed fear that Britain would extradite him to the United States to face charges there.

He noted that Assange still faces jail time in the United Kingdom for violating bail terms when he sought asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

The whistleblower has been under investigation by the Justice Department since 2010 after WikiLeaks released classified reports on the war in Afghanistan.

Assange insists British authorities will hand him over to the US. Mr Assange fears being charged by the United States for his part in leaking sensitive government information.

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"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong", said Mr Pollack.

Britain's the Guardian newspaper last month reported that Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort held secret talks with Assange, whose organization is accused of leaking thousands of emails allegedly stolen by Russian hackers from the Democratic campaign of Hillary Clinton.

He did not say he would force Mr Assange out, but said Mr Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

"The road is clear for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave", Moreno said in a radio interview overnight, referring to written assurances he said he had received from Britain.

Assange and the Ecuadorian embassy, which the 47-year-old has called home since 2012, have experienced tensions in recent months, with Ecuador cutting off Assange's communications in March, after he discussed topics online that could have damaged the country's diplomatic relations.

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