Has Ecuador betrayed Assange?
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status. Assange had been holed up in the Embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a now-dropped sexual assault case.
Thus, ended Assange's experiment with truth. The Met police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court and following a US extradition request.
Ecuador's President had stated that the country was withdrawing his asylum after repeated violations of international conventions. However, Wikileaks had a dim view of the same and called it a violation of international law.
Scotland Yard said it was invited into the Embassy by the Ambassador, following his government's withdrawal of asylum. After his arrest for failing to surrender to the court, police said he had been further arrested on behalf of the US authorities under an extradition warrant.
The extradition itself is in connection with federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion, relating to the Chelsea Manning revelations. They carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
But the important question here is whether Ecuador betrayed Assange? He was given sanctuary in the building by current Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno's predecessor Rafael Correa.
The current government of Ecuador did not want to carry forward the liability called Julian Assange. Moreno is also of the opinion that Assange disrespected Ecuador. Moreno went ahead and called Assange a 'miserable' hacker and 'a spoiled brat' who was disrespectful to officials charged with taking care of him at his country's Embassy in London.
The relations between the two had become increasingly hostile over a period recently. The list of charges against Assange included "meddling in Ecuador's relations with other countries to put up with rudeness for nearly seven years".
Assange had become somewhat 'uncontrollable' according to the reports coming out of the Embassy. He preferred riding a skateboard inside the small Embassy building and started mistreating and threatening the Embassy staff and even coming to blows with security workers.
Some of the insulting threats meted out to Ecuador government by Assange and his lawyer were that it was coming under the pressure of other countries. There were some 'unhygienic problems' with him too, it is said.
Another factor that was weighing in for the embassy officials was his failing health and poor medical care within the building. As the UK was in no mood to grant him a safe corridor, it meant that Assange would be staying within the Embassy indefinitely.
Above all, a small country like Ecuador had to spend more than 5.8 million dollars on its guest's security between 2012 and 2018 and nearly $400,000 on his medical costs, food and laundry.
The final straw came on April 9, when Assange's team accused Ecuador government of spying on him. Strange, is not it so? You go and stay as their guest and then you accuse them of spying on you.
Assange is a valiant campaigner for truth to his supporters, while to his critics, he is a publicity seeker who has endangered lives by putting a mass of sensitive information into the public domain.