Assange to be kicked out of London embassy, arrested

Ecuador granted citizenship to Assange in 2018, Reuters reported. Assange faces possible conspiracy or espionage charges carrying a sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty. "The government will not comment on the current unfounded rumours, which are also insulting".

The group said it has been told about the decision by a "high level source" from the South American country.

WikiLeaks, citing high-level sources in Ecuador, raised the alarm late on Friday AEDT that the Australian's expulsion was imminent and would take place within hours or days.

The red-brick embassy building with white window frames and balconies was quiet, though a few protesters gathered outside.

The pressure they have being applying over the years to various countries including the United Kingdom to hand over Julian Assange is enormous and increasing.

While there has been no official confirmation, in November 2018, an administrative mix-up in the US justice department-that saw Assange's court filing apparently submitted in error-indicated that the WikiLeaks founder's suspicions may indeed be true.

"I therefore urge the government of Ecuador to abstain from expelling Mr. Assange from its embassy in London, or from otherwise ceasing or suspending his political asylum until such time as the full protection of his human rights can be guaranteed", he added.

The news comes after the INA Papers website published allegations of corruption involving Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno.

On Tuesday, Reuters reported the Ecuadorian president told a radio broadcasting organisation in the country that Assange has "repeatedly violated" the terms of his asylum and accused him of intercepting private communications.

WikiLeaks issued a statement to AP shortly after making the claim, asserting "If President Moreno wants to illegally terminate a refugee publisher's asylum to cover up an offshore corruption scandal, history will not be kind".

He first sought refuge at the embassy after Swedish authorities said they wanted to question him over allegations of sexual assault, but that case was dropped in 2017. The investigation into Assange was dropped a year ago, but he remains in self-imposed exile due to fear he could still be arrested by United Kingdom police for breaching bail terms.

Assange fears being extradited to the U.S. over the publication of hacked government documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Last week, Anderson tweeted a picture of herself with Assange, saying she hasn't been able to visit him for a year.

  • Joey Payne