Report: Ecuador to Withdraw Asylum for Julian Assange, Hand Him Over to UK

The WikiLeaks founder's physical ejection from the Ecuadorian embassy in London could come as early as this week.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy where he continues to seek asylum following an extradition request from Sweden in 2012, on February 5, 2016 in London, England. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has insisted that Mr Assange's detention should be brought to an end. (Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy where he continues to seek asylum following an extradition request from Sweden in 2012, on February 5, 2016 in London, England. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has insisted that Mr Assange's detention should be brought to an end. (Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
By Tom Anderson / July 22, 2018 11:29 am

Ecuador’s Presiden Lenin Moreno met with British officials Friday to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, eject him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and hand him over to British authorities, The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald reports.

Since 2012, Assange has been under Ecuador’s protection. However, Ecuador blocked Assange from accessing the internet nearly three months ago after the Spanish government expressed its anger over Assange’s tweets about Catalonia. He has not been able to communicate with the outside world since.

Assange currently faces a pending 2012 arrest warrant for “failure to surrender.” That bail violation happened when he obtained asylum from Ecuador rather than return to court for a hearing on his attempt to resist extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations. That violation carries a prison term of three months and a fine.

A source close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the president’s office tells Greenwald that an agreement to hand over Assange to the U.K. could be finalized within the next several weeks, and the withdrawal of asylum and physical ejection of Assange could come as early as this week.

“The far more important question that will determine Assange’s future is what the U.S. government intends to do,” Greenwald writes.

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