Vancouver, BC, Canada – Times of India
Jan 7, 2017
In a statement to the International Court of Justice at 14:00 PST, Ecuador stands firmly in its protection of Julian Assange, founder of the infamous WikiLeaks. Ecuador states that it is “concerned of Mr. Assange’s wellbeing” at this time and does not wish to have Mr. Assange extradited to Sweden. If Assange is extradited to Sweden, there is high chance that he will also be extradited to the United States to face the court for espionage under the administration of President Obama.
Not only is Assange accused of espionage for the leak of the the 2010 tape of the American Army killing civilians, he is also convicted of raping a 26-year-old woman in August 2010 in Sweden.
Since the WikiLeaks interference with the American 2016 election, it is unclear at the time whether or not Assange had any role to play in the hacking that took place.
The foreign ministry of Ecuador states that it is protecting Assange in order “to safeguard his life and physical integrity until he reaches a safe place,” however the United Kingdom believes that Assange must be surrendered to Sweden for the reasons that an EAW filed by Sweden has been approved by the UK.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has stated that he will pardon Assange. This fact was re-iterated by Justice James Crawford, to which the Ecuadorian representative stated “[Mr. Trump] is not president yet” and that “anything can happen” between now and the inauguration of the president-elect.
By dismissing President-elect Trump’s statements in regards to Assange, Ecuador is also dismissing the fact that Assange is convicted of sexual assault in Sweden. If President-elect Trump fulfills his promise to pardon Assange, the chances of extradition to the United States are much lower than previously, under the Obama administration. The threat of Assange’s life is no longer a prominent issue, which begs the question of how that will change the possibility of Assange being extradited to Sweden to face the court of his sexual assault allegations.
Over the course of the next few hours, the world waits as the International Court of Justice continues to analyze and decide Julian Assange’s fate.