Quito, Ecuador. The Ecuadoran President Correa said that his country had “done its duty” by granting asylum in 2012 to Julian Assange, and said he was glad Sweden had closed its rape case against the WikiLeaks founder finally.
On Friday, Swedish authorities closed the seven-year-old rape case against Assange and withdrew the European arrest warrant issued against him.
“Ecuador fulfilled its duty, we gave him sovereign asylum, and finally the Swedish judicial system has closed the file and will not press charges against Assange,” Correa said.
United Kingdom police, have said they still intend to arrest Assange if he leaves the Ecuadoran Embassy in London where he has been holed up. He violated the terms of his probation in Britain in 2012 when he took refuge in the diplomatic mission.
The government of Sweden has made clear that its decision to drop its inquiry did not imply that Assange was innocent, but simply that it saw no realistic way to pursue the matter. Legal experts believe this is a ruse, to try and provoke the Ecuadorians into putting Asange out of the embassy, where the UK can arrest him and turn him over to American authorities.
Correa said Ecuador had granted asylum to the Australian “because there were no guarantees of due process in the USA, because there are officials of the United States that have threatened Julian Assange with the death penalty.”
Assange has always proclaimed his innocence of the charges and claimed that his extradition to Sweden would have led to his transfer to the United States, where he could be tried for publishing a huge store of confidential military and diplomatic documents.
Recent statements by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions that Assange’s arrest is a priority for the Trump administration, tends to justify that Ecuador has, and continues to stand on the right side of history in protecting Asange.
Tags: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); CIA; Donald Trump administration; Ecuador; FBI; Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); freedom of expression; freedom of media; freedom of speech; internet freedom; Jeff Sessions; Julian Assange; Law Enforcement; Sweden; United Kingdom; US department of Justice; Wikileaks