Ecuador accused of spying operation against Julian Assange
The Ecuadorean Government has been accused of an “extensive spying operation” against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange which has led to a police investigation into claims of extortion.
Meetings with lawyers and a doctor inside the Ecuador embassy in London over the past year have been secretly filmed, WikiLeaks said.
The anti-secrecy organisation said it had been offered all the material from an unnamed person in Spain, if it paid three million euros.
WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson said he travelled to Spain to meet the person and was shown videos of meetings Mr Assange has held in the past year, as well as a copy of a legal document left briefly in a room in the embassy.
A judge in Spain is now investigating the allegations, Mr Hrafnsson told a press conference in London.
Mr Assange has been living inside the embassy for almost seven years, believing he will be extradited to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building.
Me Hrafnsson said attempts to expel Mr Assange from the embassy had been escalating, leading to a warning from WikiLeaks last week that it could happen within hours or days.
He added: “The only reason it was averted is because we heard about it and published the information.”
He said there was an “extensive spying operation” against Mr Assange, conducted from within the embassy.
Police in Spain were told about the documents and videos being offered for sale and the information has been passed to an investigative judge, said Mr Hrafnsson.
Fidel Narvaez, a former diplomat at the embassy, told the press conference that the Government of Ecuador was not protecting Mr Assange any more, even though he has been granted diplomatic immunity.
He said: “The Government of Ecuador is making everything possible to end the asylum.”