NEWS
05/04/2019 4:56 PM IST

Is Julian Assange Really About To Leave The Ecuadorian Embassy?

Supporters of the WikiLeaks founder have gathered outside the London building in anticipation...

Supporters of Julian Assange are gathering outside the Ecuadorian embassy amid rumours that the WikiLeaks founder could be imminently expelled.

WikiLeaks tweeted on Thursday that Assange could be expelled “within hours to days”, citing high-level sources, however the embassy has denied the claims.

Ecuador’s foreign ministry released a statement saying it “doesn’t comment on rumours, theories or conjectures that don’t have any documented backing”, while a senior Ecuadorian official said no decision had been made.

Meanwhile, a small group of activists and supporters gathered outside the embassy in London where Assange has been holed up since August 2012.

Demonstrators, including one wearing a mask used by the Anonymous group, unfurled a banner in support of Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy.

The banner said: “The truth will set you free! Free Julian Assange!”

Three people, including the masked supporter, held the banner as they posed for photographs in front of a large gathering of media crews.

Assange has feared extradition to the US since WikiLeaks published thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables.

A top official said while Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno was angered by the apparent hacking of his personal communications, he denied WikiLeaks’ claim and said no decision had been taken to expel Assange from the Embassy.

On Tuesday, Moreno blamed WikiLeaks for recent allegations of offshore corruption that appeared in local media outlets and the publication of family photos to social media.

Moreno accused WikiLeaks of intercepting phone calls and private conversations as well as “photos of my bedroom, what I eat, and how my wife and daughters and friends dance”.

He provided no evidence, but the speech reflected ongoing tension between Assange and his hosts at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

WikiLeaks in a statement called Moreno’s charges “completely bogus”, saying it reported on the accusations of corruption against the president only after Ecuador’s legislature investigated the issue.

Assange took refuge at the embassy as he faced extradition from Britain to Sweden to be questioned in a sexual molestation case. He was initially welcomed as a guest.

Relations between him and the embassy have since become tense, with Ecuadorean authorities cracking down on his access to outsiders and for a time cut off his internet access.