British justice decides if Assange can leave freely
Julian Assange raises his fist during an appearance before the press on a balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, on May 19, 2017 in the British capital
The British justice decides this Tuesday if it raises the arrest warrant against the Australian Julian Assange, which would allow him to leave the embassy of Ecuador freely after more than five years in detention.
Assange sought refuge in the embassy fleeing a European arrest warrant because Sweden claimed him as a suspect of sexual crimes.
The Swedish justice abandoned the investigation, but the British police still want to arrest him for violating the terms of his probation.
Assange is afraid to leave the embassy, be detained and be extradited to the United States for having spread thousands of official secrets of this country.
On Monday, a door opened to the case of the founder of Wikileaks when the High Court of Justice blocked the extradition to the United States of the alleged hacker Lauri Love, who claimed him for having penetrated the computer systems of NASA and the Pentagon, among other organizations. .
At a hearing last week, Wikileaks founder Mark Summers’ lawyer said the arrest warrant “lost its purpose and function” after the Swedish court abandoned its investigation.
Summers estimated that Assange, 46, has been living in conditions “similar to incarceration” and that his “psychological health has deteriorated” and “is in danger.” However, the prosecutor Aaron Watkins considered the claim “absurd”.
– An uncomfortable guest for Ecuador –
Last year, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the arrest of the founder of Wikileaks was “a priority.”
Assange’s demand comes shortly after Ecuador gave him citizenship and diplomatic status, with the idea that immunity would allow him to leave the legation.
The United Kingdom said that such a step did not change the situation. “Ecuador knows that the only way to resolve this issue is for Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” said a spokesman for the British Foreign Ministry.
The situation of Assange has become “a stone in the shoe” of Ecuador, according to its president Lenin Moreno, who inherited the problem of his predecessor and now enemy Rafael Correa and has made efforts to find a solution.
On several occasions, the government of Quito has reproached its third party host in the affairs of third countries, such as the US elections of 2017 – in which Wikileaks disseminated compromising messages of the campaign of the candidate Hillary Clinton – or in the recent crisis politics in Catalonia, where he positioned himself in favor of the independentistas.
Assange barely leaves the balcony of the embassy, his only breath of fresh air, wielding security reasons, and his public appearances are limited to the videoconferences he sometimes offers.
The legation is in the luxurious neighborhood of Knightsbridge, door to door with the Colombian, very close to the Harrods department store, and Assange usually receives visitors.
“Our professional opinion is that his continued confinement is physically and mentally dangerous to him,” two doctors who visited him and examined him thoroughly in October told the Guardian.
“Our assessment reveals that he has not had access to sunlight, to adequate ventilation or to an outdoor space for more than five and a half years,” the doctors added.
All this “has had a considerable physical and psychological cost”, they added, claiming a safe conduct so that they can go to a hospital.