Over the weekend, allies of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged that he was kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London essentially for publishing a photograph featuring the President of Ecuador reclining in a bed while enjoying lobster served on fine china in a hotel.
While that may have happened, President Lenin Moreno had a different take on why Assange’s asylum was revoked.
Ecuador President Lenin Moreno said Monday WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was expelled from the embassy in London because he was using it as a center for spying….
“We cannot allow our house, the house that opened its doors, to become a center for spying,” Moreno told The Guardian Monday. “This activity violates asylum conditions. Our decision is not arbitrary but is based on international law.”
Moreno and other Ecuadorian officials accused Assange of interfering in the affairs of other states while at the embassy, abusing staffers and not taking care of his room and belongings.
“Assange’s attitude was absolutely reprehensible and outrageous after all of the protection provided by the Ecuadorian state for almost seven years,” Moreno said. “He maintained constant improper hygienic behavior throughout his stay, which affected his own health and affected the internal climate of the diplomatic mission.”
Assange’s camp disputes the charges, but given that his internet access was revoked along the way, and the condition of his person as authorities in Britain carried him from the embassy, there is every reason to believe that President Moreno is not making false statements.
If that is the case, it is a wonder that Ecuador put up with him as long as they did.
In the meantime, Assange is being held in a British prison awaiting a hearing regarding extradition to the United States on charges of conspiracy to break into a government computer with Bradley Manning, a convicted traitor.