Julian Assange: Talks between UK and Ecuador over Wikileaks founders future break down

Ecuadors foreign minister says: To mediate you need two parties, Ecuador is willing, but not necessarily the other party

To mediate you need two parties, Ecuador is willing, but not necessarily the other party

Fernanda Espinosa said Ecuador shared Assanges fears that he could be extradited to the United States if he left the embassy, given that he has published US diplomatic and military secrets on WikiLeaks, an organisation that makes public secret information or news leaks provided by anonymous sources.

The 46-year-old who fears extradition to the United States has been living in the South American country's consulate since 2012 Getty Talks between the UK and Ecuador over the future of Julian Assange at its London embassy have broken down, the South American countrys foreign minister said.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa suggested British officials had been unwilling to negotiate over the Wikileaks founders potential release.

There is no public record or evidence demonstrating that any US criminal charges are pending against Assange, but he and his supporters believe US prosecutors could have a sealed, and therefore secret, indictment against him.

Earlier this month, a judge upheld an arrest warrant issued when Mr Assange skipped bail as he fought extradition to Sweden in 2012.

Last week, a British judge refused to halt legal proceedings against Assange, 46. The Swedish case was dropped in May last year, but Britain still has a warrant out for Assanges arrest over his breach of bail terms.

The 46-year-old has been at the embassy ever since as he fears extradition to the United States for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves.

The 46-year old Australian only rarely emerges onto the embassy balcony, citing concerns for his personal safety, but he frequently takes part in media conferences and campaigns via video link.

Ecuador blames Britain for breakdown of Julian Assange talks

Ms Espinosa said of the failed talks: “To mediate you need two parties, Ecuador is willing, but not necessarily the other party.”

Ecuador in December granted citizenship to Assange, and asked Britain to recognize him as a diplomat in an unsuccessful attempt to provide him with the immunity that could see him walk free.

Ecuador said it would continue to protect Mr Assanges rights, however, there was a risk to his physical and psychological well-being after spending nearly six years in the building as a “refugee”.

The country has assessed more than 30 similar cases in a bid to break the deadlock, including that of British-Iranian citizen Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who is in prison in Iran accused of spying.

"This has not prospered because to mediate, two parties are needed. Ecuador is willing but the other party is not," she told reporters.

This included options for granting diplomatic immunity, although Ecuador said it would continue to respect the UKs laws.

A US government official told Reuters last week that federal prosecutors were still pursuing a criminal investigation against WikiLeaks. 

In November, Ms Espinosa said Mr Assange had been granted Ecuadorian citizenship.

The foreign minister said Ecuador was trying to make Mr Assange a member of its diplomatic team, which would grant him additional rights under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations – including special legal immunity and safe passage.

A police officer on duty near a protective tent which covers the bench where a man and woman were apparently poisoned with what was later identified as a nerve agent, in Salisbury

Protesters against the Turkish war on Syrian Kurds in Afrin block the tracks at Manchester Piccadilly station bringing rail services in and out of the terminal to a halt

Royal Air Force Police dog Tornado leaps through a set of hoops on day three of the Crufts dog show at the NEC Arena in Birmingham

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, with Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, during a visit to Abertay University in Dundee, prior to his address to delegates at the Scottish Labour Party Conference in the citys Caird Hall

Britains Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson sits with Year 1 pupils during a visit to St Leonards Church of England Primary Academy in Hastings

Electronic billboards show adverts for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with the hashtag #ANewSaudiArabia in London

A police officer stands guard outside a branch of the Italian chain restaurant Zizzi close to The Maltings shopping centre in Salisbury, which was closed in connection to the ongoing major incident sparked after a man and a woman were found critically ill on a bench at the shopping centre on 4 March

Gary Oldman, winner of the Best Actor award for Darkest Hour, poses with his award in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center.

Great Britains Andrew Pozzi celebrates winning the mens 60m hurdles final as Aries Merritt of United States looks dejected during the IAAF World Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham.

People playing with their sledges in Greenwich Park, east London, as the cold weather continues around the country.

Theresa May delivers a speech about her vision for Brexit at Mansion House.

The Couple, a sculpture by Sean Henry, braves the snow in Newbiggin-By-The-Sea in Northumberland, as storm Emma, rolling in from the Atlantic, looks poised to meet the Beast from the Easts chilly Russian air.

The scene on the M80 Haggs in Glasgow, as the highest level of weather warning has been issued for Scotland and Ireland as forecasters warn of “blizzard-like” conditions. A red alert for Munster and Leinster in the Republic of Ireland and the central belt of Scotland has been put out for heavy snow and strong winds. Dublin, Kildare, Louth, Wicklow and Meath are also covered by a red warning, which was issued early on Wednesday morning.

Icicles hang from a frozen elephant fountain in Colchester. Freezing weather conditions dubbed the “Beast from the East” has seen snow and sub-zero temperatures hit the UK.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a keynote speech as he sets out Labours position on Brexit, at the National Transport Design Centre in Coventry. Jeremy Corbyns Brexit speech confirmed that a Labour Government would negotiate full tariff-free access to EU markets for UK business.

Victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles come together to take part in the Time for truth march through Belfast city centre against the stalled efforts in dealing with Northern Irelands legacy issues.

Oxford University Boat Club race in preparation for The Cancer Research UK Boat Race 2018, Oxford University Boat Club race Oxford Brookes University in London, England.

Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell leaves Barkingside Magistrates Court after being given a £87,170 fine in Barking, England. Mr Chappell, who was in charge of BHS for a year before it went bust, was found guilty of failing to provide information demanded by The Pensions Regulator.

Youths chase after the leather ball during the annual Fastern Eve Handba event in Jedburghs High Street in the Scottish Borders in Jedburgh, Scotland. The annual event, which started in the 1700s, takes place today and involves two teams, the Uppies (residents from the higher part of Jedburgh) and the Doonies (residents from the lower part of Jedburgh) getting the ball to either the top or bottom of the town. The ball which is made of leather, stuffed with straw and decorated with ribbons is thrown into the crowd to begin the game.

An anti-Brexit campaign battle bus drives through Westminster in London, England. The crowd-funded coach is to tour the country making 33 stops two years after the Vote Leave campaign drove a similar bus around the UK with the now famous slogan: We send the EU £350 million a week lets fund our NHS instead.

Sarah Clarke is introduced as the new Black Rod to the House of Lords. She is the first female Black Rod in the 650-year history of the role and will be known as the Lady Usher of the Black Rod.

Britains Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson holds a rhinoceros horn as he visits a Metropolitan Police wildlife crime unit facility in London. The Foreign Secretarys visit was to help him learn more about the work they do internationally to tackle the illegal wildlife trade (IWT).

Allison Janney, Daniel Kaluuya and Gary Oldman clutching their BAFTA awards

Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain celebrates after winning the gold medal during the Womens Skeleton on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games

Models walk the runway at the Richard Malone show during London Fashion Week

Dame Vivienne Westwood walks the runway to model in the #INEOSVTHEPEOPLE catwalk presentation outside fracking giant INEOSs headquarters in London

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson delivers his speech: Road to Brexit, a United Kingdom, as part of the Governments road map on Brexit, at the Policy Exchange, London

England and Durham cricketer Ben Stokes, 26, leaving Bristol Magistrates Court, where he was told he will face a crown court trial over an altercation outside a nightclub

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meets with local party supporters and residents in Penicuik, Midlothian, before speaking at a campaign rally at the towns Miners Welfare Hall

Volunteers create a heart shaped collection of plastic bottles littering the foreshore of the River Thames at Queenhithe Dock in central London, in an event organised by the #OneLess campaign and Thames21 to draw attention to the impact that single-use plastic water bottles are having on the environment.

Florist Hank Roling poses with a Vanda orchid during a press preview of the Thai Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens, London

A staff member poses behind a moon jellyfish tank during the annual stock-take at London Zoo.

Prime Minister Theresa May joins female Members of both Houses at the Palace of Westminster, to mark the 100th anniversary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, which gave certain women over the age of 30 a vote and the right to stand for Parliament.

Lauri Love outside the Royal Courts of Justice after a judge ruled against extraditing him to America in a case where he was accused of hacking thousands of US government computers.

A statue of suffragette Alice Hawkins being unveiled in Market Square, Leicester. Ms Hawkins, a shoe machinist, was jailed five times while leading the Suffragette campaign in the city in the early 20th Century.

Demonstrators gather on Gover Street in central London ahead of a march towards Downing Street to protest against underfunding and privatisation of the NHS and demand an end to the winter crisis in the health service.

Millicent Fawcett by Annie Swynnerton, newly on display at Tate Britain. Fawcett was a leading figure in the suffragist movement and campaigned relentlessly to get the vote for women in this country. The portrait of her is on display at Tate Britain to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women over 30 the right to vote.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and husband Philip May visit the Forbidden City in Beijing during her three-day visit to China.

Members of the Jarl Squad dressed in Viking suits after marching through the streets in Lerwick on the Shetland Isles during the Up Helly Aa Viking Festival.

Travis Frain (left) and Dan Hett from the Survivors Against Terror Group talk to students at Manchester Enterprise Academy. Frain survived the Westminster attack in March 2017, while Hetts brother Martin was one of the 22 who died in the Manchester attack in May 2017.

Members of the English Civil War Society take part in the Kings Army Annual March and Parade, in London, as they commemorate the execution of Charles I. The route follows the route taken by Charles I from St James Palace on the Mall to the place of his death at the Banqueting House in Whitehall.

Will Grigg celebrates scoring Wigans second goal from the penalty spot during the Emirates FA Cup, fourth round match against West Ham at the DW Stadium. League One Wigan knocked out the Premier League side 2-0.

US entrepreneur and co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates and Britains International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt meet vet Andy Hopker and students Vanya Lalljee and Jennifer Hunt during an event to launch the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security at the University of Edinburgh.

President Donald Trump meets with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Alun Wyn Jones of Wales, Guilhem Guirado of France, Dylan Hartley of England, Rory Best of Ireland, John Barclay of Scotland and Sergio Parisse of Italy pose with the trophy during the 6 Nations Launch event at the Hilton in London.

Kyle Edmund reacts after winning his mens quarter-final match against Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open. He will play sixth seed Marin Cilic in the semi-final.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson next to US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson on a visit to the new embassy in London, a discreet move after criticism of US President Donald Trump who refused to inaugurate it.

Womens rights demonstrators hold placards and chant slogans during the Times Up rally at Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street. The Times Up Womens March marks the one year anniversary of the first Womens March in London and in 2018 it is inspired by the Times Up movement against sexual abuse. The Times Up initiative was launched at the start of January 2018 as a response to the #MeToo movement and the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Britains Penny Coomes and Nicholas Buckland perform in the pairs ice dance free dance event at the European figure skating championships in Moscow.

Sheep graze in a field in Thornhill, Scotland. Forecasters have issued a new warning of snow and icy conditions in Southern Scotland with the police advising people to leave work early in affected areas.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May look up at a military fly past at Sandhurst Military Academy in Camberley. Theresa May is expected to make an announcement as part of the Anglo-France Summit at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, where she will discuss Britains strong and wide-ranging bilateral relationship with President Macron.

A jackknifed lorry is recovered on the M74, following motorists spending the night stranded on the motorway in Abington, Scotland. Mountain rescue teams spent the night helping drivers following heavy snowfall in the Dumfries and Galloway region.

Carillion, which has a variety of private and public service contracts in Britain and employs 43,000 staff worldwide, announced its immediate liquidation on Monday after the heavily-indebted company failed to secure a last-ditch financial rescue from the government and banks. Carillion held a £335 million contract to build the new Liverpool city hospital, the delivery of which was already delayed by the time the company went into liquidation.

Dolores ORiordan, frontwoman of the iconic Irish grunge-rock band The Cranberries, died suddenly at the age of 46. A spokesperson for ORiordan said she died suddenly in London, where she had travelled for a short recording session.

Glen Durrant celebrates with the trophy after victory during day nine of the BDO World Professional Darts Championship 2018 at The Lakeside.

The Whittlesea Straw Bear festival in Cambridgeshire celebrates the old Fenland plough custom of parading straw bears around the town every January. This Festival happens on the first weekend after Plough Monday. The procession, led by the Straw Bear, has over 250 dancers, musicians and performers. They perform traditional Molly, Morris, Clog and Sword dancing.

Posted in World