Ecuador president: Assange can remain in embassy

The new Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno, has no plans of evicting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been hiding out since 2012.

Moreno, who took office last week, said he would “personally reject” Assange, whom he called a “hacker.”

"But I respect the situation he is in, which calls for respect of his human rights, but we also ask that he respect the situation he is in,” Moreno said in comments to reporters, according to Reuters. 


Moreno’s right-wing competitor in the election had promised to kick Assange out of the embassy if he won.

Assange has been holed up in the embassy for five years to avoid British extradition to Sweden over rape charges. Sweden recently dropped the charges, but British law enforcement said he could still be arrested if he left the embassy on other charges and could face extradition to the United States.

Assange’s WikiLeaks has dumped embarrassing, stolen political emails and documents during various elections, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.