12092019What's Hot:

Assange to Testify on Being Recorded in Embassy in London

WikiLeaks gained worldwide attention in 2010, when it published a vast cache of classified material taken from American military computer systems, most of it about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That year, Swedish prosecutors sought to arrest and question Mr. Assange on sexual assault accusations, which he said were fabricated as a pretext for handing him to the United States. Mr. Assange, who was in Britain at the time, surrendered to the British police, posted bail and fought extradition to Sweden.

But in 2012, fearing that he would lose that case, he sought asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and Mr. Correa’s government granted it. Mr. Assange stayed there for nearly seven years, skipping court appearances, forfeiting his bail and continuing to run WikiLeaks.

Recently, the Swedes dropped their investigation, saying that the evidence was too weak for a prosecution.

In 2016, WikiLeaks published stolen Democratic Party emails that damaged the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton. Russian spies had hacked the party’s computers, according to Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, but Mr. Assange denies any link to Russian intelligence.

As Mr. Assange’s relations with his Ecuadorean hosts deteriorated, President Lenín Moreno, who succeeded Mr. Correa in 2017, pressured him to leave. In April this year, Ecuador revoked Mr. Assange’s asylum, and the British police arrested him. He was convicted of bail-jumping and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison.

Mr. Assange contends he is a journalist, publishing what he receives from his sources, and not responsible if they have obtained it illegally. The Obama administration reluctantly accepted that argument. The Trump administration rejects it, and charges that in addition, he aided the illegal 2010 hacking.

David D. Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from London, and Charlie Savage and Julian E. Barnes from Washington.

Source: NYT > World News

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