Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy for six years, but the country’s new president is ready to evict.
According to The Sunday Express, Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan is “said to be involved in a diplomatic effort” just weeks ahead of President Lenin Moreno’s visit.
Moreno has called Assange a “stone in the shoe” and an “inherited problem” for his administration. Former President Rafael Corra was the leader who granted Assange asylum when he fled accusations of sexual assault and rape in Sweden.
The United States has threatened to block an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to Ecuador if Assange isn’t kicked out, a source close to Assange claimed. The IMF already gave $364 million to the country after a $3 billion earthquake shook the country in 2016.
During the 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump boasted that he “loved Wikileaks” for releasing the hacked emails of John Podesta and other hacked information. It is unclear if the U.S. will continue to make such threats under Trump’s leadership.
Assange has maintained that the moment he is released from the embassy he will be arrested by the U.K. and extradited to the U.S., where he will be prosecuted for publishing classified documents.
Friday, a grand jury handed down 12 new indictments of hackers involved in the 2016 election hack of branches of Democratic Party.