Responding to comments from newly elected Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno warning Julian Assange not to ‘interfere’ in South American politics, WikiLeaks’ founder said Ecuador can be “confident” that any evidence of corruption will still be published.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Cochasqui archeological site in the Northern Andes on Thursday, President Moreno “respectfully” called on Assange “not to interfere in Ecuadorian politics, nor in the politics of its allies.”
@JulianAssange Ecuadorians can be confident that if WikiLeaks receives evidence of corruption in Ecuador it will be published.
@JulianAssange In any instance where there is a genuine legal barrier to me being the publisher I will recuse myself and my replacement will publish.
“His status does not allow him to talk about the politics of any country, let alone ours,” he said, according to CapitalNews.
In response, Assange, who is still under virtual house arrest inside Ecuador’s London embassy, sent out a series of tweets that seemed to imply he would fulfill his duty as a journalist to work in the “public interest,” regardless of the embassy’s hospitality.
He added that if there are any legal barriers to him publishing, he will find alternatives to assure that the material reaches the public.
Despite the warning, Moreno, who took office on Wednesday, also said his country “will ensure” Britain “allows the transfer of Mr. Assange to Ecuador or to the country in which he wishes to reside.”
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 in order to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face sex offence allegations.
Although Swedish prosecutors dropped the case last week, British police say Assange could still be arrested for breaching bail conditions, which has forced him to remain in the embassy.
If arrested, Assange fears he will be extradited to the US for leaking classified material.
Appearing on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy last Friday, Assange said there is still much to do before he can walk free.
“We have today won an important victory, but the road is far from over. The proper war is just commencing.
“The claim that the UK has the right to arrest me for seeking asylum in a case where there have been no charges is simply untenable,” Assange remarked.
“My legal staff have contacted the UK authorities and we hope to engage in a dialogue about what is the best way forward,” he noted.
Assange has also pledged that WikiLeaks will carry on publishing material in the US, and even “accelerate” this process.
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