Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Ecuador Grants Nationality To WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

Ecuador Grants Nationality To WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

The WikiLeaks chief believes that the USA government is seeking his extradition and prosecution.

He also is said to fear extradition to the United States, where the Trump administration's Justice Department is weighing whether to charge him for his role in publishing the secret documents obtained from the Army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning, who was then known as Bradley Manning. He was released on bail amid the proceedings.

Relations have also frayed with Ecuador in recent months following Assange's outspoken support of Catalonia's separatists, and Quito has warned him to avoid making statements that could harm its worldwide relations.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 after he took refuge in the country's embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Espinosa said officials were looking for a third country or a prominent global figure to help extricate Assange from the embassy and move him somewhere else.

His detention has been a priority for Great Britain and the U.S.

February 2015 his lawyers petition Sweden's Supreme Court to quash the arrest warrant.

Feinstein releases transcript of interview with Fusion GPS co-founder
Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, called last week for the Justice Department to launch a criminal inquiry into Steele. Feinstein moved to do so without the committee's Republican chairman, Senator Charles E.

May 19, 2017: Swedish prosecutors announce the investigations have been discontinued. Britain rejects the ruling.

A United Nations panel has said that Assange had been "arbitrarily detained" and should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden.

- Beginning of the end?

WikiLeaks' publications have included hundreds of thousands of USA army war logs and state department diplomatic cables, and more recently emails from the Democratic National Committee during the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry in a statement said it was seeking to resolve Assange's situation, without making reference to the citizenship issue. The Ecuadorian government has granted him political asylum.

Assange had hinted Wednesday that something was afoot when he tweeted a picture of himself wearing an Ecuadoran soccer jersey, and Reuters reported that his name had been recorded in a civil registry of Ecuadoran citizens.

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