Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Thursday WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange can leave his country’s London embassy any time he wants — and the sooner the better.
“I do not like the presence of Mr. Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, but we have been respectful of his human rights and with that respect in mind we think that six years is too long for someone to remain nearly incarcerated in an embassy,” Moreno said.
“There is a path for Mr. Assange to take the decision to exit into near freedom.”
Assange had whined that Ecuador was seeking to end his asylum and hand him over to the US, where prosecutors were preparing t a criminal case against him.
WikiLeaks has released thousands of classified US military documents, among other disclosures, including thousands of emails that were hacked from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Moreno noted that Assange still faced jail time in the UK for violating bail terms when he sought asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a rape investigation.
The investigation was later dropped, but Britain said he would be arrested if he left the embassy, where he has lived for six years under asylum,
Moreno said the sentence for skipping bail would be “not long.”
The UK has told Ecuador that his jail time would not exceed six months and that he would not face extradition if he left the embassy.
Assange insists British authorities will hand him over to the US.
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