Ecuador says Julian Assange residency at its London embassy is ‘not sustainable’; Staff complains about his sloppy personal habits

Jan 10, 2018 | 31 comments

Ecuador is considering kicking Julian Assange out of its embassy in London.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

The South American country is looking for a third country to mediate in the case of WikiLeaks founder Assange, who has sought refuge in Knightsbridge embassy for more than five years.

Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told media on Tuesday that notable asylum cases in recent years have sometimes required mediation by a third party.

She called the current situation “not sustainable”.

According to a former embassy employee, the issue with Assange involves much more than politics. “It is a small place and not suitable as an apartment,” says Molly Frommer. “And then there is the issue of his personal habits which leave a great deal to be desired.”

Off the record, other employees have complained for years that Assange leaves dirty clothes around the embassy and never washes the dishes. He also wanders through the five-room suite during working hours, sometimes interrupting work. In one widely reported case, he walked through the embassy conference room in his underwear when a consul was meeting with the South African ambassador. “He didn’t even apologize and there was a big hole in the back of his underwear,” says Frommer.

Frommer adds that President Lenin Moreno took a personal dislike for Assange when Moreno worked for the United Nations in Geneva. “One time when he visited London, he told Julian to clean up his room and take a bath.”

Assange has been at the embassy since June 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden to face accusations of alleged rape.

While Sweden has temporarily dropped that investigation, British officials say they would still arrest him on charges of bail jumping.

Assange also fears a possible U.S. extradition request stemming from the leaking of classified U.S. documents.

Ecuador’s Espinosa said: “No solution will be achieved without international cooperation and the cooperation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out.”

Last year, Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno warned Australian-born Assange, 46, against making controversial political statements after he spoke out in support of the pro-independence movement in Catalonia.
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Source: The Evening Standard

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