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- WikiLeaks said its founder Julian Assange was in danger of being expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London within "hours to days," according to a tweet the organization published on Thursday.
- A senior official in Ecuador has denied this, according to the Associated Press.
- The organization claimed in a series of tweets that the Ecuadorian government was seeking retribution against the Australian-born whistleblower over leaked papers that allege corruption involving members of Ecuador President Lenín Moreno’s family.
- WikiLeaks has denied that it published the anonymous papers, though the Ecuadorian government has responded harshly to the allegations. Ecuadorian officials did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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WikiLeaks said its founder Julian Assange was in danger of being expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London within "hours to days," according to a tweet the organization published on Thursday.
A senior official in Ecuador has denied this, according to the Associated Press.
The 47-year-old Assange has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, where he was granted asylum. The Australian-born whistleblower faced allegations of sexual assault in Sweden before seeking protection inside the embassy.
Swedish prosecutors dropped their criminal investigation in 2017, though Assange has refused to step foot outside the embassy over fears of arrest by British police and possible extradition to the US for questioning over his activity at WikiLeaks.
Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange in 2018, Reuters reported. The newswire service said that was part of an effort to give Assange a pathway out of the embassy.
In addition to WikiLeaks’ claim on Thursday that Assange would be kicked out of the embassy, it claimed that an agreement with the UK to arrest Assange was already in place.
It claimed to have "secondary confirmation" from another high level source in a tweet hours later.
Ecuadorian officials did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Tensions between Assange and Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno — who has referred to Assange as "hacker," an "inherited problem" and a "stone in the shoe," since assuming office in 2017 — have existed for months.
According to WikiLeaks, those tensions stem in part from documents known as the INA papers which were anonymously leaked in February. The papers outline claims of corruption allegedly involving members of Moreno’s family.
Moreno has responded harshly to the allegations. On Tuesday, Reuters reported the Ecuadorian president told a radio broadcasting organization in the country that Assange has "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum and accused him of intercepting private communications.
"It is not that he cannot speak and express himself freely, but he cannot lie, nor much less hack private accounts or phones," Moreno said.
WikiLeaks has denied releasing the INA Papers, and suggested the Ecuadorian government may be seeking retribution against Assange.
"If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher’s asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind," WikiLeaks said in a statement to Reuters.
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