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  • U.N. General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa is Ecuador's newest victim of political persecution.

    U.N. General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa is Ecuador's newest victim of political persecution. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 May 2019

U.N. General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa rejected the 'irregularities' cited by Ecuador surrounding Assange's citizenship.

U.N. General Assembly President Maria Fernanda Espinosa is the newest victim of Ecuador’s political persecution, Espinosa said Thursday, announcing Ecuador’s plans to prosecute her for the role she played in obtaining citizenship for WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

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Appearing on teleSUR’s program, EnClave Politica, the U.N. official reported complaints were filed against her by Ecuador’s Legislative Justice Commission implying some ‘regrettable’ irregularities in the citizenship process which was awarded to Assange in 2017, while she was Ecuador’s foreign minister.

Espinosa told teleSUR’s Luis Orlando Perez that the country has “political sectors insulting and arguing issues that reveal their immense level of ignorance about international relations and the U.N." Offering Assange Ecuadorean nationality status was a “fully thought out” decision, she said.

"In the first place it was due to the request of the asylum's defense attorneys. We checked that it met all the requirements, then a legal analysis of the case was made," she said, citing the 1951 Convention.

Among the other allegations, Espinosa is being accused of using public resources to finance her U.N. presidential campaign and of negligence in the case of the three Ecuadorean El Comercio journalists who were kidnapped and killed in Colombia in 2017.

However, an audio file was released in December, which showed President Lenin Moreno had the opportunity to save the trio but chose not to. In the recording, Moreno said he was "very sorry for all those deaths that may come after this situation, but … I believe that the elementary principle of dignity of a people, of the citizenship, of a government and of a state goes well beyond the life of one or a few or of some people,” Moreno said in the Dec. 18 recording.

Espinosa’s responsibilities, on the other hand, were carried out to the letter, the official maintained. She followed procedure, first by activating security measures along the Oliver Sinisterra front, then by forming agreements on operations, following up with the international Red Cross in Colombia, providing logistical and human support for the journalists’ families, and finally by filing a declaration for support on Ecuador’s behalf at the Summit of the Americas.

As to her campaign, it was financed by Ecuadorean embassies around the globe, according to the law, she said. Her defense has been presented to the Legislative Commission in writing with an assortment of documents.

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