Ecuador unveils “special examination” of Julian Assange’s asylum
5 January 2019
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose courageous publication of leaked documents exposed the crimes and mass surveillance of the US and its allies, is facing a new threat to expel him from Ecuador’s London embassy. He was granted political asylum there in 2012 to protect him from being extradited to the US to face possible life imprisonment, or even execution, on trumped-up espionage or conspiracy charges.
Having already cut off Assange’s internet access and communication with the outside world last March, in an effort to coerce him into leaving the embassy, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno has set in motion a pseudo-legal inquisition to provide a cover for his government to repudiate its asylum obligations.
Facing mounting demands from Washington, Moreno’s government has unveiled a “special examination” of Assange’s asylum and citizenship—a process clearly designed to repudiate both. The issue of citizenship is significant because Ecuadorian law forbids extradition of citizens.
On January 3, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, whose government granted Assange asylum, tweeted an image of a letter he received from Ecuador’s State Comptroller General on December 19, notifying him of an investigation by the Direction National de Auditoria.
Specifically, the “general objective” of the audit is to “determine whether the procedures for granting asylum and naturalization to Julian Assange were carried out in accordance with national and international law.” It will cover the period between January 1, 2012 and September 20, 2018.
Correa, now living in Belgium, was asked to supply information for the inquiry, but…