WikiLeaks founder Assange 'to be expelled' from Ecuador embassy

A WikiLeaks Tweet quotes a high-level source saying Assange will be kicked out of the embassy he has been in since 2012.

    WikiLeaks founder Assange 'to be expelled' from Ecuador embassy
    Assange has been inside the Ecuador embassy in London since 2012 [Peter Nicholls/Reuters]

    Ecuador is preparing to expel WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from its embassy in London within "hours to days", according to a WikiLeaks Tweet.

    According to the tweet sent out on Thursday, the "#INAPapers offshore scandal" was being seen as a pretext to expel Assange.

    "A high level source within the Ecuadorian state has told WikiLeaks that Julian Assange will be expelled within 'hours to days' using the INAPapers offshore scandal as a pretext - and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest," the tweet read.

    The INA papers are a collection of documents leaked to an Ecuadorian legislator which have implicated President Lenin Moreno in a corruption scandal. 

    The WikiLeaks statement comes two days after Moreno accused Assange of repeatedly violating the terms of his asylum and said the government was seeking an arrangement with Britain to allow Assange to leave the embassy.

    In an interview broadcast by several Ecuadoran radio stations, President Moreno said: "Assange has too often repeatedly violated the agreement we have with him and his legal team," without saying whether Ecuador would withdraw asylum.

    "It is not that he cannot speak freely, it is not that he cannot express himself freely, but he cannot lie, let alone hack into accounts or intercept private telephone calls" under the terms of his asylum agreement, said Moreno.

    Ecuador also suspects that WikiLeaks is responsible for sharing private photographs of Moreno on social media recently.

    Assange has been holed up in the embassy since 2012 to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden on allegations of rape.

    The Swedish judiciary has since dropped its investigation, but British authorities have said they will still arrest the Australian when he leaves the embassy because he violated his bail conditions by fleeing.

    Assange says he fears being extradited to the United States where he could face charges relating to the publication of hacked government documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In October, Assange sued Ecuador for violating his "fundamental rights" by limiting his access to the outside world after his internet and mobile phone access were blocked back in March.

    Ecuador accused him of breaking "a written commitment" not to interfere in the country's foreign policies. 

    SOURCE: News agencies