Only days after saying that Julian Assange may soon have his internet privileges restored, Ecuador’s foreign minister has suggested that the WikiLeaks founder may instead be turned over to the British government.
Granted political asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy by the government of former president Rafael Correa in 2012, Assange is wanted by British police on charges related to a sexual assault case in Sweden.
In a Wednesday interview with a Spanish news service, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said that Ecuador and Britain “have the intention and the interest that the Julian Assange affair be resolved.” She added that discussions are underway to reach a “definite agreement” on the issue.
Days earlier, Espinosa told an Ecuadorian radio station that embassy personnel hoped to reach an agreement to Assange that would allow his internet access to be restored. For that to happen, she said, Assange would have to agree not to criticize governments that Ecuador is on friendly terms with, particularly Great Britain, Spain and other members of the European Union.
Assange’s internet access was cut off March 27 following his social media comments supporting the Spanish Catalan separatist movement and criticizing Britain for its expulsion of Russian diplomats following the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter.
Espinosa said that the comments violated an agreement Assange had made as a condition of his continued asylum.