Julian Assange may be at the end of the line in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, as the WikiLeaks founder may be evicted “any day now,” according to CNN, citing sources familiar with the matter.
While Assange has in the past claimed his position in the embassy was under threat, sources say his current situation is “unusually bad” and that he could leave the embassy “any day now,” either because he will be forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own. His position there is “in jeopardy,” one source familiar with the matter said. –CNN
After losing a March bid to have a UK arrest warrant for skipping bail in a now-abandoned rape case in Sweden, and amid reports that the U.S. has prepared criminal charges in relation to WikiLeaks’ release of Hillary Clinton’s hacked (or leaked) emails during the 2016 U.S. election – Assange would face immediate arrest by UK authorities the moment he sets foot outside the embassy he’s called home for the past six years.
In the US, Assange’s fate is even more uncertain. Assange’s lawyers claim that US officials have maintained a secret grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks for nearly eight years. -CNN
“For the last eight years, the UK has refused to either confirm or deny that they have received an extradition request from the US. At the same time, they have refused to provide assurances that Julian will not be extradited to the US if such a request were to be received, and maintained an ever-present vigil of the Embassy, notwithstanding a UN directive to take steps to ensure Julian’s immediate liberty,” Assange’s lawyer Melinda Taylor told CNN. “Their silence speaks volumes, particularly in light of recent statements from US officials that Julian’s arrest and extradition are a priority.”
“The concern from day one until the present is that if Julian Assange walks out of the Embassy, he will be extradited to face what the executive director of the ACLU described as an ‘unprecedented and unconstitutional’ prosecution under the US Espionage Act,” Taylor told CNN.
In December, Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship, but the UK indicated it would not recognize his diplomatic status if requested by the Latin American nation,