Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted citizenship by Ecuador

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange granted citizenship by Ecuador

Here are key dates in Julian Assange's extradition battle after Ecuador on Thursday announced it had granted the WikiLeaks founder citizenship.

Earlier this week the Ecuador's foreign minister said the country may pursue mediation to resolve the stand-off between the South American nation and Britain over his fate.

Ecuador has given citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the country's London embassy for over five years, and is seeking a "dignified and just" solution to his situation with Britain.

In June 2012, Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid an extradition warrant over allegations of sexual misconduct and has remained there ever since.

Ecuador said they feared threats to Assange's life coming from third party states.

Ecuador's newly elected president Lenin Moreno has warned Assange that he must respect asylum conditions and refrain from getting involved in the affairs of other countries.

Espinosa said Ecuador is trying to make 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.

Ecuador's president at the time, Rafael Correa, was a vocal critic of the USA and an ally of another high-profile U.S. critic - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

Ecuador subsequently asked the United Kingdom to recognise Mr Assange as a diplomatic agent - a move that could have given him immunity. The WikiLeaks chief believes that the U.S. government is seeking his extradition and prosecution.

August 2010: An arrest warrant is issued for Julian Assange after his trip to Sweden.

Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation into allegations against Mr Assange, but he fears he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves the building and that there is a sealed indictment ordering his arrest. Mr Assange is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the United Kingdom authorities and must be released.

The Ecuadorian government has become entirely fed up with the dispute over Assange's status as it's dragged on, calling the dispute "untenable". Were he to step one foot outside the embassy walls, he would find himself handcuffed and bundled away by the Metropolitan Police.

August 16, 2012: Ecuador grants Assange political asylum. According to Assange's edition, a passport could also have been issued.

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