The Ecuadorian authorities have fabricated claims about Julian Assange’s alleged “gross misbehavior” at its embassy as a pretext to surrender him to the UK police, the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer said.
“The first thing to say is [that] Ecuador has been making some outrageous allegations,” Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, told Sky News on Sunday following the whistleblower’s arrest earlier this week. Quito made these claims to divert public attention from its own misdeeds and to “justify the unlawful and extraordinary act of letting police come inside an embassy,” she added.
Earlier, Ecuadorian Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo complained about the embassy staff having to tolerate gross misconduct for far too long. The 47-year-old was specifically accused of “putting feces on the walls,” among other things. He was also alleged to have left dirty underwear in the lavatory, failed to clean dishes, and left a cooker on.
Apart from that, the embassy staff complained earlier that the WikiLeaks founder also listened to loud music and skateboarded inside the embassy hall at night – claims that make the whistleblower sound like a rowdy teenager.
Robinson dismissed all those allegations as “not true” and hit back by saying that it was the Ecuadorian authorities that eventually turned the whistleblower’s life in the embassy into a sort of a solitary confinement as he was holed up for seven years.
“I’ve been visiting him for the last seven years. This man has been inside a room with no outside access. Inside the embassy, it has become more difficult,” the lawyer said, adding that Ecuador’s attitude to Assange drastically changed for the worse after its current president, Lenin Moreno, came to power.
On Sunday, the Spanish daily El Pais published a video from the embassy’s security camera, which indeed shows Assange skateboarding through the diplomatic mission’s room while wearing shorts (it’s unclear whether the footage was taken at night). None of the dirtier claims have yet been supported by evidence, though.
The Moreno government did make Assange’s life more difficult in his last two years at the embassy as he was deprived of internet access, and no personal visits were allowed for a time. Earlier this week, the Ecuadorian president also revoked his asylum, opening the way for his detention.
The claims about Assange’s alleged misbehavior were not the only bizarre statements made by the Ecuadorian authorities about the whistleblower’s life at the embassy.