Assange's Lawyer Rejects Moreno's Deal to Leave Ecuadorian Embassy in UK

Assange turns down Ecuador deal to leave embassy

Assange turns down Ecuador deal to leave embassy

President Moreno said the sentence for skipping bail would be "not long". Assange fears he could face the death penalty for his role in the USA for leaking classified information.

The UK has assured in a written statement that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not be extradited to any nation where he would face the death penalty, said Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Thursday in a radio interview.

Moreno said Assange did not need to fear he would be transferred to a country where he could face the death penalty: "According to the British government, they would never extradite a person to a country where his life is at risk".

Moreno didn't say he would force Assange out, but said Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

"The road is clear for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave", Moreno was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

WikiLeaks has published thousands of classified U.S. government documents, prompting U.S. law-enforcement authorities to consider possible criminal charges for Assange, despite the fact that publishing leaked government documents is not a crime.

Assange could be questioned in the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible Russian interference in the 2016 election that brought President Donald Trump to office.

And while Mr Assange remains protected in the Ecuadorian embassy, there have been indications that officials in that country are losing patience with him.

Federal criminal charges against Assange have been filed secretly in the U.S. and were accidentally leaked in a court filing for an unrelated case several weeks ago.

But he said Ecuador was not about to throw Assange out.

After having caught up in allegations of sexual harassment in 2010, Assange took asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

"We will protect Mr. Assange's rights - this is why we are looking for a solution, but this needs to be an agreed solution", he said.

Ecuador has been seeking a way to terminate Assange s stay for several months, amid souring relations with its embassy guest, who recently sued Quito for restricting his internet access.

Assange founded WikiLeaks as a whistle-blower organization in Iceland in 2006.

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