- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Tuesday accused WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange of repeatedly breaking the rules governing his asylum status and stay inside the country’s embassy in London.

Mr. Moreno made the allegation against Mr. Assange, an Australian native, during an interview with the Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters’ Association, regional media reported.

The terms of Mr. Assange’s asylum do not allow him to “hack or get into accounts or private phones,” Mr. Moreno said during the segment, Ecuador’s El Universo daily newspaper reported.

Mr. Moreno said that “too many times Mr. Assange has resulted in his violations of the agreement we reached with him and his legal attorney,” The Associated Press reported in Spanish.

Mr. Assange, 47, entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012 and was granted asylum within weeks by Mr. Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa. Mr. Assange is the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant issued by British authorities, and he fears he will be apprehended by U.K. policy upon exiting and extradited to the United States to stand trial for charges related to his WikiLeaks website and its history of publishing stolen, sensitive U.S. documents.

The current administration in Quito has repeatedly raised concerns with Mr. Assange’s residency inside the embassy, and last year the government began limiting his access to the internet and imposed strict new terms and conditions for continuing his stay.

“It’s not that he can not talk freely,” Mr. Moreno said, El Universo reported. “It’s not that he can not express himself freely. But he can not lie and, worse still, hack or get into accounts or private phones.”

Mr. Moreno said Ecuador is seeking a short-term solution regarding Mr. Assange that would guarantee he does not risk execution if ejected from the embassy.

“The requirement, we have clearly stated, is that your life is not in danger,” Mr. Moreno said.

WikiLeaks said on Twitter that Mr. Moreno was reacting to the organization reporting on the recent leak of documents exposing a “corruption scandal” involving his government.

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