On Friday, Ecuador’s top diplomat, Jose Valencia Amores, reiterated the country’s decision to grant asylum to the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange.
Julian Assange’s legal team is planning to take legal action against the Ecuadorian foreign minister, Jose Valencia Amores, for having publicized confidential information about the whistleblower’s asylum process, Assange’s lawyer Carlos Poveda told Sputnik on Thursday.
«In the next few days we start legal proceedings… The proceedings will be against the Foreign Ministry and its legal representative, who is the foreign minister,» the lawyer said.
Late last week, the top Ecuadorian official earlier reaffirmed his country’s preparedness to grant Assange asylum.
«His status of the person who is seeking asylum still remains in force,» the foreign minister told the Universo newspaper.
Amores added that Assange’s issue must be resolved through an open dialogue between the whistleblower’s lawyers and the authorities of the United Kingdom, where he is currently residing in the premises of the Ecuadorian Embassy. In September, based on the information reportedly derived from the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, MP Paola Vintimilla asked the government to strip the WikiLeaks founder of his Ecuadorian citizenship, citing irregularities in the procedure and claiming it was established especially for him.
Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange last January.
He has been staying in the Latin American country’s embassy in downtown London since 2012, when the United Kingdom pledged to extradite him to Sweden, where he was accused of sexual offenses. While the Swedish police dropped the charges in 2017, Assange is still wary of being extradited to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking classified documents of the US State Department.