WikiLeaks: Julian Assange to Be Arrested 'Within Hours'
Whistleblower to be expelled from Ecuador's London embassy, resulting in arrest
Julian Assange is expected to be expelled from Ecuador's London embassy "within hours to days," resulting in his immediate arrest by UK authorities, according to WikiLeaks.
The whistleblowing organization says its founder's arrest has already been agreed with UK officials, quoting "a high level source within the Ecuadorian state."
Assange has been seeking refuge in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, following a ruling from a British judge that he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
Swedish authorities dropped the case in 2017 but Mr. Assange remains in the embassy over fears of being extradited to the United States to face charges over WikiLeaks publishing of sensitive US government files.
A Met Police arrest warrant is also still in force after Assange absconded when he was released on bail in 2010.
As soon as he steps out of the embassy's grounds and onto UK soil, he will be arrested immediately.
According to Sky News, late on Thursday, WikiLeaks claimed that a senior source in Ecuador's state department had told it that Mr. Assange would be expelled.
In a blog post, WikiLeaks said the move was an attempt by Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to cover up activities related to his use of an offshore tax haven created by his brother, known as the INA Papers.
But Mr. Assange's lawyer has reportedly said he had nothing to do with the leak of the papers.
A top Ecuadorian official denied WikiLeaks' claim and said no decision had been taken to expel Mr. Assange, according to the Associated Press.
Ecuador's foreign ministry said in a statement that it "doesn't comment on rumors, theories or conjectures that don't have any documented backing."
BREAKING: 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.https://t.co/adnJph79wq— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 4, 2019
In October, the Australian-born WikiLeaks founder had complained Ecuador was violating his "fundamental rights" and he was living in an "inhuman situation."
He took the claim to an Ecuadorian court but it was thrown out.
Mr. Assange had claimed stricter new asylum terms are meant to coerce him into ending his asylum.
Ecuador's government confirmed in March last year that it blocked Mr. Assange's internet and mobile phone access because they claim he broke "a written commitment" to not interfere in the country's foreign policies.