WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past four and a half years, will be asked to vacate the premises if Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso wins the upcoming elections.
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Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012 after he was being sought by the US government for prosecution related to the leaks in the Chelsea Manning case.
According to a report by The Guardian, Guillermo Lasso has stated that the asylum granted to Assange is costing a lot to the Ecuadorian treasury and he isn’t the responsibility of the people of Ecuador.
If Guillermo Lasso is elected, then the WikiLeaks founder will be served a 30-day-long notice period to vacate the premises.
Although his popularity has been growing, the possibility of Lasso triumphing in the elections are a bit dim as — according to the recent polls — he still trails the ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno by seven points.
But it is highly likely that Assange might vacate the embassy premises as there is growing concern over among Ecuadorians regarding the current predicament.
Assange’s Wikileaks had been publishing classified documents since 2006 but his organisation shot to fame after bringing to fore the atrocities committed by US soldiers in war zones — specifically Iraq and Afghanistan — as well as files about Guantanamo Bay.
During the US elections, internet access to Assange’s room was cut off after WikiLeaks was involved in the email leaks from the Democratic National Committee and Hilary Clinton’s campaign advisor.
The Ecuadorian embassy is kept under close surveillance by British police in order to avoid Assange’s extradition to Sweden where he is sought for trial in a sexual assault case.
In the past, Assange has argued that his extradition to Sweden will result in the US getting their hands on him for trial which will result in him being mistreated — similar to the fate of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
But since Chelsea Manning received a presidential pardon, Assange has stated that he’ll be open to stand trial in the US, given his rights are respected.