Manafort tried to broker deal over Assange's handover to US

Ecuadorian President talked with Manafort about removing Assange from embassy

Ecuadorian President talked with Manafort about removing Assange from embassy

Assange is wanted by both USA and British authorities, making his refuge at the London embassy a sticking point between Ecuador and the two world powers. The terms of his stay were tightened when a new Ecuadorian president was elected in 2017.

The newspaper cited three unnamed sources on Monday, December 3 reporting that, during at least two meetings with Manafort in Quito, Moreno and his assistants spoke of their desire to rid themselves of Assange - a refugee since 2012 at the South American country's embassy in London - in exchange for some concessions, especially the relief of Ecuadorian debt with the US.

His talks with Ecuador ended without any deals. However, during the meeting, the topic of the WikiLeaks' founder's extradition came up.

The New York Times was first to report that President Lenin Moreno and his aides had expressed their desire to have Assange leave the embassy in at least two meetings with Manafort in exchange for concessions from the U.S. like debt relief, citing three people familiar with the talks. According to the NYT, Manafort suggested he could broker the deal.

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Talks dissolved after it became evident that Manafort's financial dealings were a focal point of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe.

No power system deal was made - and there is no evidence Manafort was working on behalf of the Trump administration in the talks about Assange, the Times reported. The Times said there was no indication that Trump or other administration officials were briefed by Manafort on the negotiations, but noted the incident highlighted Manafort's role as an global influence broker hoping to cash in on his ties with Trump.

He is now in jail in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort recently dismissed a story that he met with Assange in person during the 2016 campaign as "false and deliberately libelous".

The former head of trump's staff held a final meeting with Moreno a few days after the appointment of Robert Mueller spectaculorum for investigation of Russia's intervention in US elections 2016. Sweden dropped its investigation in May 2017, but Assange fears he will be extradited to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked USA military and diplomatic documents.

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