Ecuador says United Kingdom has given enough guarantees for Assange to leave embassy

UK guarantees are enough for Julian Assange to leave embassy, Ecuador’s president says

Then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in April 2017 that arresting Assange was a "priority".

Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno hinted this week that gears are in motion to end Julian Assange's more than five-year stay at the South American country's embassy in London, prompting speculation that he could face extradition to the USA, where he faces criminal charges.

Moreno didn't say he would force Assange out, but said Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

"There is a path for Mr. Assange to take the decision to exit into near freedom", Moreno said in the local radio interview, while noting that the whistleblower still faces jail time in the United Kingdom for violating bail terms when he sought asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was wanted for questioning in a sexual assault investigation.

And while Mr Assange remains protected in the Ecuadorian embassy, there have been indications that officials in that country are losing patience with him.

United States prosecutors inadvertently revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against Assange last month, according to WikiLeaks.

Sweden has since dropped that case, and Ecuador says there are no pending extradition requests against the WikiLeaks founder. This comes as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the alleged links between US President Donald Trump's associates and Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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Moreno said Assange did not need to fear he would be transferred to a country where he could face the death penalty: "According to the British government, they would never extradite a person to a country where his life is at risk".

In recent months, Ecuador has clamped down on Assange and his behavior, cutting off his Internet access in March 2018 after making political statements that Ecuador said violated his agreement for sanctuary.

The WikiLeaks founder has been living under asylum at the embassy since 2012.

Mr Assange has denied any connection to Russian Federation.

Assange founded WikiLeaks as a whistle-blower organization in Iceland in 2006.

Assange, 47, has spent the last six years in Ecuador's embassy to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden on allegations of sexual assault.

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