The court in Ecuador stripped the founder of the Wikileaks project Julian Assange of the citizenship of the republic, transfers Australian TV channel ABC with reference to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry.
«[Суд] acted independently and followed due process in considering the decision, […] adopted by the previous government, ”the Foreign Ministry said.
Assange’s lawyer Carlos Poveda considers this court decision illegal and plans to appeal. According to Poveda, the rights of his client were violated – Assange was not invited to the court hearings.
Australian Julian Assange obtained Ecuadorian citizenship in December 2017 after spending five years at the country’s embassy in London. There he was hiding from the British police, who were going to extradite him to the Swedish authorities as part of a criminal investigation of rape (the case was closed in 2020).
In 2019, Assange was arrested by the British police. Before that, the Ecuadorian embassy deprived him of his asylum. Then Foreign Minister Jose Valencia and Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo accused Assange of riding a scooter through the embassy’s cramped corridors, insulting employees and smearing feces on the walls.
The Ecuadorian government was also unhappy with Assange’s support for the Catalan independence movement. It could hurt Ecuadorian-Spanish relations, transfers CNN.
Julian Assange is now in the Belmarsh maximum security prison. He was sentenced to 50 months in prison for violating bail conditions and hiding in the embassy. In parallel with this, the court continues hearings on his extradition to the United States, where Assange faces a 175-year sentence. However, in January, a British judge rejected Washington’s request to extradite Assange, ruling that such a move would be “repressive” given his mental health.
The American side accuses Julian Assange of espionage and disclosure of classified information, including the publication of letters from the hacked servers of the Democratic Party on the WikiLeaks portal. The project published top-secret materials obtained from anonymous sources, including Pentagon documents on the course of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.