Ecuador: US WikiLeaks extradition would be "evil"
The Ecuadorian government is reportedly attempting to prevent the "evil" extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.
Assange entered Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19 after all attempts to fight extradition to Sweden - where the WikiLeaks founder faces charges of sexual assault - failed. The WikiLeaks founder, who denies the accusations, is concerned that extradition to Sweden could ultimately lead to his eventual transfer to the United States.
As such, Ecuadorian officials have been seeking assurances from the UK that Assange will not be extradited to the US after the completion of his legal proceedings in Sweden.
Ecuador also plans to formally ask the American government if there are currently any legal proceedings against Assange or an ongoing investigation which has identified him as a target for extradition.
"In legal terms... the evil that Ecuador wishes to prevent is the extradition [of Assange] to the US. Now if there are ways and means of that being tied down, I think that would be a just solution," an Ecuadorian official told the UK-based Guardian.
"[We have] also raised the point – and [are] very much concerned about – life sentence. According to our law, life sentence may be equally inhumane, in the sense that any person that has no prospect of leaving confinement is, in fact, as we see it, condemned to a death sentence [for] life. For us, that is equally inhumane."
Meanwhile, Assange's US lawyer, Michael Ratner, said he was certain the WikiLeaks founder had already either been secretly indicted by a grand jury in Washington or would face extradition with a view to prosecution - with the death penalty remaining a distinct possibility.
"I have no doubt there is a serious investigation, which has gone on, and is continuing, into Julian Assange and WikiLeaks," he claimed.
Ratner's concerns were recently echoed by a former National Security Agency (NSA) employee who went on record as saying Assange was in danger from certain clandestine elements within the US government.
"They are extremely angry [at Julian]. According to press reports, there has been a secret Grand Jury and maybe a secret indictment," Thomas Andrews Drake, a known NSA whistleblower, told Russia Today. "They want to get him and put him away. There are those at high levels in this country - they have called for a death warrant."
According to Drake, the US government will do everything it can to put Assange away for as long as they can - or worse.
"Speaking truth to power is very dangerous. The power elites, those in charge don't like dirty linen being aired. They don't like skeletons in the closet being seen.... Not only do they object to it, they decide to turn it into criminal activity. Remember, my whistle blowing was criminalized by my own government," he added.