WikiLeaks' Assange 'repeatedly violated' asylum terms: Moreno

Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno blames the Wikileaks founder for recent allegations of corruption in local media.

    Founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, speaks during a press conference in London [Lennart Preiss/AP Photo]
    Founder of the WikiLeaks website, Julian Assange, speaks during a press conference in London [Lennart Preiss/AP Photo]

    Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday said that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum in the Andean nation's London embassy, according to a local media interview.

    Moreno told the Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters' Association that Assange does not have the right to "hack private accounts or phones" and cannot intervene in the politics of other countries, especially those with friendly relations with Ecuador.

    Without providing evidence, Moreno blamed Assange for recent allegations of corruption in local media and the publication of family photos to social media. 

    A message seeking comment from Kristinn Hrafnsson, who took over from Assange as WikiLeaks' editor-in-chief last year, was not immediately returned. But Assange's defence team suggested on Twitter that Moreno was trying to use the scandal to pressure the WikiLeaks founder.

    Assange took refuge in Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

    That probe was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.

    He says Ecuador is seeking to end his asylum and is putting pressure on him by isolating him from visitors and spying on him. 

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    Ecuador has said its treatment of Assange was in line with international law, but that his situation "cannot be extended indefinitely".

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency