WikiLeaks said its founder will be expelled from Ecuador's London embassy within "hours to days." The non-profit said the INA papers scandal, which has implicated Ecuador's president, was the pretext for the expulsion.
WikiLeaks tweeted late Thursday that its founder, Julian Assange, will be expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London within "hours to days," citing a "high level source."
Assange, who faces charges in the United States over leaked government documents, could be arrested by authorities upon leaving the embassy.
Accusations against Assange
Seven-year asylum: Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden, where he faced rape charges. The Swedish judiciary has since dropped the charges, but Assange now faces arrest in the UK for violating his bail conditions by fleeing to the embassy.
Assange said he fears being extradited to the United States, where he faces charges over classified documents WikiLeaks published in 2010. However, Britain has guaranteed that the WikiLeaks founder will not be extradited to any country where his life would be in danger.
Sick of Assange: Ecuador has sought to expel Assange for several months amid souring relations. He sued Quito in October for violating his "fundamental rights" by limiting his access to the outside world. On Tuesday, Ecuadorian President Moreno said Assange "repeatedly violated" his asylum conditions in the embassy, though he did not say whether Ecuador would withdraw the Australian's asylum.
INA papers scandal: The INA papers are a collection of documents that were leaked and published in February. The documents allegedly uncovered the operations of INA Investment Corp., an offshore tax haven created by Moreno's brother. The trove of emails, phone communications and bank receipts have supposedly linked the Ecuadorian president and his family to a money laundering scheme and offshore bank accounts. The revelation sparked a congressional corruption probe into Moreno.
dv/rt (AFP, dpa)