WikiLeaks hits back at ‘grotesque lies’ about Assange by Ecuador’s president
WikiLeaks has rejected “grotesque lies” made about Julian Assange by Ecuador’s president.
Lenin Moreno accused the WikiLeaks founder of hosting hackers at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he lived for almost seven years before being forcibly ejected last week.
Mr Moreno said Assange had given them directions on how to propagate information on issues important to both him and his financiers.
Mr Moreno’s government has accused Assange of creating conflict by meddling in international affairs and harassing staff at the embassy.
A spokesman for the anti-secrecy organisation said: “WikiLeaks refutes President Moreno’s grotesque lies about Assange.
“They are a crude attempt to distract from Moreno’s own corruption scandals in Ecuador and the cowardly expulsion of our publisher into the reach of US authorities.”
Mr Moreno added that Swedish programmer Ola Bini, who is in custody in Ecuador, was one of the hackers who visited Assange many times.
Demonstrators clashed with police in Ecuador’s capital on Tuesday during a protest against Mr Moreno’s action against Assange, as well as his removal of state workers and the government’s acceptance of a loan from the International Monetary Fund.
Mr Moreno made his allegations at the Inter-American Dialogue during a five-day visit to Washington.
He will not have meetings with officials from the Trump administration.
Assange was granted asylum after arriving at the embassy in June 2012 but relations between the Australian and Ecuadorian officials had grown increasingly tense.
Assange is in custody in London awaiting sentencing for a bail violation.
The US is also seeking his extradition after charging him with conspiring to break into a Pentagon computer system.
The president made a series of accusations against Assange, branding him an “information terrorist” who had treated embassy staff “very, very badly”.
In an interview with the BBC, he said: “From verbal insults against Ecuador, when he referred to our country as a completely insignificant country, on the one hand, and on the other, excuse me that I have to say this here, but even smearing his faeces on our embassy’s walls
“I think this is a sufficient reason to revoke and terminate his asylum.”