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Ecuador had named Assange adviser at Embassy in Russia: Ecuadorian Lawmaker


ANI  |  Quito [Ecuador] 

The Foreign Ministry of Ecuador decided to appoint WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange an adviser at the Embassy of Ecuador in Russia, back in 2017, but 10 days later this decision was annulled amid London's refusal to grant Assange diplomatic status, according to Ecuadorian lawmaker Paola Vintimilla.

"There is a ministerial agreement (at the Foreign Ministry of Ecuador), according to which Julian Assange was appointed Ecuador's diplomatic representative in Moscow," Vintimilla said.

The document in question, obtained by Sputnik, is dated December 19, 2017, and signed by Byron Rolando Suarez Sanchez, who was the vice minister of Foreign Affairs at the time. Prior to this, the WikiLeaks founder received a "special appointment" from the Government of Ecuador, which allowed him to work in the country's embassy in the United Kingdom.

According to the lawmaker, the Ecuadorian authorities "had first to wait for London to agree for Assange to be part of Ecuadorian diplomatic service in the city (London), but they had ready a ministerial agreement, which would have him move to Moscow as a representative of Ecuador."

"However, since he had no diplomatic immunity to leave the embassy, he could not go to Moscow," Vintimilla said.

After London refused to grant Assange diplomatic status, Suarez personally voided the agreement which would allow the WikiLeaks founder to work in Moscow. It happened on December 29, 2017.

Assange has been staying at the Embassy of Ecuador in London since 2012, unable to leave for fear of being detained by the UK authorities. WikiLeaks has revealed a number of classified documents, including the sensitive information allegedly related to the US diplomats and intelligence community.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 25 2018. 19:05 IST