Ecuador Gives Up Wikileaks Founder For U.S. Financial Aid
It turns out asylum in some countries is only good for so long. Wikileaks Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy for the last 7 years. But his time came to an end after the Ecuadorians decided they’d rather have debt relief. So they turned him over to the British.
“British authorities arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday in response to an American extradition request, and a U.S. federal court unsealed an indictment charging him with a single count of conspiracy to hack a classified Defense Department computer.
Assange was taken into custody by British police after Ecuador rescinded his asylum at its embassy in London, ending a media-saturated standoff that lasted nearly seven years.
London’s Metropolitan Police said that Assange, 47, was “arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.” British authorities originally sought custody of Assange for jumping bail after Sweden requested his extradition in a separate case stemming from sexual assault allegations.
In an indictment unsealed hours later, Assange was accused of conspiring in 2010 with Chelsea Manning, a U.S. Army intelligence analyst then known as Bradley Manning, and others to illegally obtain secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents whose dissemination could be used to injure the United States.”
“The charges relate to materials stolen by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, who was convicted in 2013 of leaking classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks. She had worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq and was arrested in 2010. Manning is transgender and at the time of her arrest, her name was Bradley.
Manning was jailed again last month for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton ordered Manning to jail for contempt of court in March after a brief hearing in which Manning confirmed she had no intention of testifying.”
“Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said Assange’s mental and physical health worsened while he was holed up, and he began to act aggressively toward his hosts, including smearing feces on the walls of the embassy.
In a fiery speech in Ecuador, Moreno called him an ungrateful and “miserable hacker” who treated embassy officials poorly.
“When you’re given shelter, cared for and provided food, you don’t denounce the owner of the house,” Moreno said to applause at an event outside Quito.
“From now on we’ll be more careful in giving asylum to people who are really worth it and not miserable hackers whose only goal is to destabilize governments,” he added. “We are tolerant, calm people, but we’re not stupid.”
“In June last year, Vice President Mike Pence pressured the Ecuadorian government on the status of Assange following demands from Senate Democrats that he do so. The New York Times reported in December that Ecuador has been offered debt relief by the U.S. in exchange for handing over Assange.”
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