Lawyer claims lies were spread against Assange
Ecuador allegedly misrepresented behavior
LONDON (AP) — A lawyer representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange alleged Sunday that Ecuador’s government has spread lies about his behavior inside its embassy in London, where Assange sought asylum in 2012.
The Latin American country has claimed Assange actions deteriorated before his arrest Thursday and included putting excrement on walls, leaving soiled laundry in the bathroom, and not properly looking after his cat.
Lawyer Jennifer Robinson told British TV network Sky News the Ecuadorian government is spreading alleged falsehoods to divert attention from its decision to revoke his asylum and allow his arrest at its British embassy.
“I think the first thing to say is Ecuador has been making some pretty outrageous allegations over the past few days to justify what was an unlawful and extraordinary act in allowing British police to come inside an embassy,” Robinson said.
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno ended Assange’s protected status after more than 6.5 years and opened the way for his arrest there Thursday.
Moreno said Assange abused Ecuador’s goodwill, mistreated embassy staff and used his perch to try to interfere in other country’s political affairs.
Assange has had “a very difficult time” since Moreno took office in Ecuador in 2017, Robinson said.
Assange, who appeared much older when he emerged from the embassy than when before he sought refuge there in August 2012, is in custody at Belmarsh Prison in southeast London awaiting sentencing in Britain for skipping bail to avoid being sent to Sweden as part of an investigation of a rape allegation.
The United States also is seeking his extradition after charging him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system, which could lead to competing extradition demands.