Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno says Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, will eventually need to leave.
President Moreno, speaking at an event in Madrid on Friday, emphasized that his country had spoken to the British government about Assange’s situation.
Speculation about the future of Wikileaks founder grew following a report by the Sunday Times that senior officials from Ecuador and Britain were in discussion about how to remove him from the embassy after revocation of his asylum, and a source close to him told Reuters the situation was coming to a head.
Other reports suggested that President Moreno and British authorities had come to an agreement to have Assange evicted from the embassy premises as early as this week.
Assange, a 47-year-old computer programmer, sought asylum in the embassy in 2012, fearful that he might be detained and then extradited to Sweden, where he is wanted for sexual harassment charges.
He has repeatedly insisted that he is paying a price for revelations he had made about the spy activities carried out by the US military.
Assange has said that his main concern is that he would end up in the United States and be prosecuted for publishing classified documents that were leaked by American whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Assange has been granted asylum by Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa after he took refuge in the country’s embassy in London.
He has been living in the Ecuadorian mission since Swedish prosecutors issued a European arrest warrant against him over allegations of rape and sexual assault filed by two women in 2010.