Britain promises not to extradite Julian Assange

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Mr Assange fears being charged by the USA for his part in leaking sensitive government information.

"There is a path for Mr Assange to take the decision to exit into near freedom", Moreno said in a local radio interview.

Assange's lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, has told Sputnik that his client was ready to surrender to the UK authorities after receiving written guarantees from London that he would not be extradited to the United States or any other country.

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Ecuador says Britain has guaranteed not to extradite Julian Assange

"The suggestion that as long as the death penalty is off the table, Mr Assange need not fear persecution is obviously wrong ..."

WikiLeaks has published thousands of classified USA government documents, prompting United States law-enforcement authorities to consider possible criminal charges for Assange, despite the fact that publishing leaked government documents is not a crime.

He did not say he would force Mr Assange out, but said Mr Assange's legal team is considering its next steps.

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WikiLeaks' role in releasing emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee in 2016 has also been under scrutiny as special counsel Robert Mueller has investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the campaign of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was involved.

United States prosecutors last month inadvertently revealed the existence of a sealed indictment against Assange, according to WikiLeaks, but it was not known what the actual charges were.

Sweden has since dropped that case, and Ecuador says there are no pending extradition requests against the WikiLeaks founder. "We will protect Assange's rights". He faces charges of espionage, conspiracy, theft of government property, and computer fraud in the USA, and Donald Trump's administration has stated that the Wikileaks founder's arrest is a top priority.

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Moreno noted that Assange still faced jail time in the United Kingdom 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.

Ecuador has been seeking a way to terminate Assange s stay for several months, amid souring relations with its embassy guest, who recently sued Quito for restricting his internet access.

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