Last month, the government of Ecuador deleted the Twitter account of Julian Assange. That move looks like a prelude to its complete ejection of the Wikileaks founder.
As reported in The Guardian, Ecuador’s foreign minister is looking for a way out of the “untenable” safe haven given to Assange, now in its fifth year. The South American government gave Assange room and board along with refuge from extradition at its London embassy after he fled a rape charge in Sweden. The rape investigation was dropped after its statute of limitations expired. If Assange leaves his embassy protection, he faces immediate arrest by the British on a charge of skipping bail and more significantly, possible extradition to the United States
After taking office, Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that arrest of the Swedish digital leaker was a “priority.” Whether Assange will face a U.S. court is unclear but there are rumors that a secret extradition agreement exists between the UK and the US.
Last May, CIA director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” after evidence emerged that Assange’s group was involved in disseminating classified documents stolen by Edward Snowden.
American intelligence agencies also identify WikiLeaks as a direct player in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The organization released a trove of hacked emails from the Democratic National Convention in its effort to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
Ecuador is calling for international mediation to help eject Assange. That leaves open the possibility that Julian Assange may join his fellow leaker, Edward Snowden, somewhere in Russia under the protection of Vladimir Putin.