WikiLeaks said that it’s co-founder Julian Assange in being spied on in Ecuador embassy.
A surveillance operation against Julian Assange in Ecuador embassy in London was uncovered by WikiLeaks, the whistleblower group said Wednesday and added that Images, videos, and documents gathered during the operation were offered for sale.
WikiLeaks that Spanish police undertook a sting operation against some unnamed people in Madrid who offered to sell the gathered intelligence.
WikiLeaks, during a press conference, said that some of the material came from video cameras installed last year after Lenin Moreno’s government came to power in Ecuador.
A Spanish judge is investigating the whole case. Kristinn Hrafnsson, the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks said he met the four individuals trying to sell the documents. One of them was not a Spanish national.
Hrafnsson said the surveillance was part of an effort to extradite Assange to the United States. “If you connect the dots it’s easy to draw that picture,” said Hrafnsson.
The surveillance, which included recordings of Assange’s meeting with his lawyers and doctors, invaded his privacy he added.
Ecuador caught in espionage operation against its refugee Julian Assange which:— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 10, 2019
1. Spied on his legal, medical visits
2. Stole legal notes during the middle of a court hearing against them
3. Secretly cooperated with US
4. Tried to extort him for 3M Eurohttps://t.co/l9KvnWrjK4
Jennifer Robinson, a lawyer at Doughty St. Chambers and long-time advisor of Assange, said that the recordings were a severe breach of lawyer-client privilege.
Last March, Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet connection. Later the embassy also asked Assange to pay for even basic healthcare.
Last Friday WikiLeaks said Assange could be expelled from the embassy within "hours to days” which means the United Kingdom can arrest Assange and extradite him to the United States upon a likely request by Washington.
The Wikileaks founder accepted political asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sex crimes, which have been dropped. However, in the last two years, ever since Moreno took office, a new set of draconian measures have reduced his fundamental rights, in regards to freedom of speech, visits, and movement inside the diplomatic mission.
Assange, who was granted Ecuadoran citizenship in December 2017, legally cannot be extradited as Article 25 of Ecuador’s 2008 constitution forbids extradition of nationals. Yet he has denounced attempts, influenced by U.S. pressure, to strip him of this right.