Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, on February 5, 2016 in London
The British government reported Thursday that it refused to grant diplomatic status to Julian Assange, who has been held at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, as requested by his Ecuadorian counterpart.
„The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Assange in the United Kingdom,“ a spokesman for the British Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
„The United Kingdom did not comply with the request, and we do not have talks with Ecuador on this matter,“ he added.
The spokesman ended by recalling that „Ecuador knows that the only way to resolve this issue is for Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.“
On the other hand, the Ecuadorian chancellery refused to comment on „rumors“ when asked if Assange had been granted citizenship, as had been circulated.
The founder of Wikileaks, the website that disseminated thousands and thousands of official American secrets, entered the embassy to escape extradition to Sweden, whose justice wanted to interrogate him as a suspect in several sexual crimes that he denied.
Assange would surely face a few weeks in jail in the United Kingdom for violating the terms of his probation, but his great fear is to end up being extradited to the United States and judged by the dissemination of secret documents.
The legal team of Assange recalled, in a statement on Twitter, that a UN legal committee estimated that „Assange is illegally and arbitrarily detained.“
The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, will offer a press conference on Thursday, but said on Tuesday that her country wanted a „mediation“ to end the „unsustainable“ situation of Assange.
Since granting him asylum, Quito hopes that the British authorities will give him a safe conduct so he can leave the UK.
The chancellor ratified for the umpteenth time the asylum granted by the government of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), now at odds with his successor and exile, Lenin Moreno.