Ecuador Internacional

Ecuador gave Julian Assange diplomatic role at its Moscow embassy, says MP

WikiLeaks founder’s failed plot to leave the UK aided by minister, according to classified documents

The Guardian - Dan Collyns 27/09/2018

Photo: The Guardian

Photo: The Guardian

Ecuador went as far as appointing Julian Assange to a diplomatic position at its embassy in Moscow as part of its failed plan to get him out of the UK, the Guardian has learned.

The WikiLeaks founder was named as a councillor in Ecuador’s embassy to Russia on 19 December 2017, just days after he was granted Ecuadorean citizenship as part of the aborted escape plan revealed by the Guardian last week. However, the nomination was later withdrawn after the UK refused to recognise his diplomat status.

A classified document signed by Ecuador’s then-deputy foreign minister José Luis Jácome appeared to corroborate information from multiple sources that Russia would have been the ultimate destination for Assange if the plan had been successful.

The involvement of Russia – a country from where Assange would not be at risk of extradition to the US – raised new questions about his ties to the Kremlin.

Assange, who has not left Ecuador’s London embassy since seeking asylum there in August 2012, has been a key figure in the ongoing US criminal investigation into Russia’s attempts to sway the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Classified documents, including the agreement to make Assange an adviser, have been seen by the Ecuadorean politician Paola Vintimilla, who will seek to have them declassified in a plenary session of Ecuador’s national assembly on Thursday.

“There was a ministerial agreement to make Julian Assange an adviser in the [Ecuadorean] embassy in Moscow,” Vintimilla told the Guardian.

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