Last year, Russian diplomats held secret talks in London with people close to Julian Assange in order to decide if they could help him flee the UK, reports The Guardian. A tentative plan was devised that would have had Assange smuggled out of Ecuador’s London embassy in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to another country. Multiple sources told The Guardian that one ultimate destination was Russia, where the former WikiLeaks founder would not be at risk of extradition to the U.S.
However, the plan, which was tentatively scheduled to take place on Christmas Eve 2017, was abandoned because it was seen as too risky. The operation was also linked to an unsuccessful attempt by Ecuador to give Assange formal diplomatic status.
The Guardian writes that Russia’s involvement in this plan raises new questions about Assange’s ties to the Kremlin. Assange is a key figure in the ongoing U.S. criminal investigation into Russia’s attempts to impact the 2016 presidential election.
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