Julian Assange Rejects Ecuador’s Claim That He Can Leave the Embassy With ‘Near Liberty’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is rejecting Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s claim that he can leave the embassy with “near-liberty” after the UK agreed not to extradite him to any nation seeking to give him the death penalty.

Assange, who was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012, has been residing in the London Ecuadorian embassy ever since. President Moreno has not been as keen to protect him as the previous president, however.

The UK  has not made any guarantees that they will not extradite him to the United States, where the Trump administration has made it a priority to prosecute him. In November, through a filing error, it was revealed that he has been secretly charged — but the government is refusing to unseal what the charges are exactly.

Last year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the arrest of Assange is a priority.

On Thursday, Moreno announced the deal that he reached between Ecuador and the UK. In response, Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack told The Telegraph that the deal is unacceptable.

“The legal team have long argued that they will not accept any agreement which risks his being extradited to the United States,” the Telegraph reports.

“The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong,” said Pollack. “No one should have to face criminal charges for publishing truthful information.”

“Since such charges appear to have been brought against Mr Assange in the United States, Ecuador should continue to provide him asylum,” Pollack continued.

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