Julian Assange accused of setting up 'spy centre' in Ecuadorian embassy

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Sweden dropped its charges but Assange remained in the embassy because of potential US charges related to WikiLeaks disclosures.

The president of Ecuador has claimed that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange used the London embassy that was his home for seven years as a "center for spying", as new footage emerged of the controversial whistleblower's life inside the embassy.

"The politics of the case with respect with Ecuador's change of government with Lenin Moreno coming to power and ever since then inside the embassy it's become more and more hard to the point where Human Rights Watch said was akin to solitary confinement", she said.

British police were allowed to enter the embassy and drag Assange out to be arrested on charges of jumping his bail years ago.

Moreno, who became president in 2017, said his nation's previous government provided spying facilities within the embassy. Assange made the decision to move into the embassy in London after losing his battle against his extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations including rape. Sweden is considering reviving the investigation.

After his arrest last week, Assange was taken to Westminster Magistrates' Court in London, where he was found guilty of breaching his bail conditions, and U.S. officials charged him with conspiracy.

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Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said her client would cooperate with Swedish authorities if they reopen the rape case against him but would continue to resist any bid to extradite him to the US.

In the affidavit submitted to federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, prosecutors said USA military reports from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq included information about the "identity and significance of local supporters of US and allied forces in Afghanistan".

Ecuador's decision to allow police to arrest Assange inside its embassy last week followed a tense and acrimonious period of deteriorating relations between the Quito government and the house guest whom its foreign minister, José Valencia, described as ungrateful, rude and unhygienic.

The "probable cause" for Assange's extradition to the USA is described as hundreds of messages sent between Manning and Assange on the Jabber platform.

The extradition court in Britain will not be judging the evidence against him, but will evaluate whether the crime he is accused of would be a crime in Britain.

His next court appearance is May 2 via video link. In the meantime, he is expected to seek prison medical care for severe shoulder pain and dental problems, WikiLeaks has said.